Seabulk International Bulk Handling Services, an Italian Cement transporting firm has submitted a proposal to set up operations to transport cement of Lanka Cement Ltd (LCEL), according to top LCEL officials.
"Seabulk met up with LCEL management on Wednesday to submit a proposal in order to operate a ’floating factory’. This will be a bagging and transporting plant atop a ship," Sisira Paranagama, Chairman LCEL, told The Sunday Times FT.
He explained the particular ship Seabulk has agreed to deploy a 10,000 metric tonne capacity ship. "Last Sunday the team visited both Colombo and Galle harbours to see how the barging facility can be arranged."
He said this is the easiest system in the world and saves space. Mr. Paranagama also said that Seabulk will be investing about US$ 40 to 50 million in the operation. He explained that at present LCEL imports about 10,000 metric tonnes of cement for a month.
"Now we are using container ships to transport cement. We pay US$ 300 per tonne as freight changes to them. With Seabulk this will drop to US$200 per tonne," he added.
When asked about the four foreign firms which have expressed interest for a strategic alliance with the northern Kankesanthurai (KKS) Cement Factory Ltd, he said due to the security situation, LCEL has put on hold all these proposals.
Ramco India, Birla Group India, Shanghi Cement India and Cement Italia had expressed interest in a strategic deal with KKS plant, a subsidiary of LCEL.