Sri Lanka Tokyo Cement goes green to revive profitability

Sri Lanka Tokyo Cement goes green to revive profitability
Published: 19 September 2008

Sri Lanka’s Tokyo Cement group, whose profits dipped last year owing to higher raw material, energy and transport costs, says new eco-friendly processes and products should help it revive profitability.

Chairman Edgar Gunatunga said the firm has commissioned a bio-mass power plant and will soon commission a new vertical roller mill at its cement manufacturing factory in the eastern port of Trincomalee.

Tokyo Cement is a joint venture between Mitsui Mining Company, the largest coal-mining company in Japan, and the local St. Anthony’s Consolidated.

The planned 10 MW bio-mass power plant in Trincomalee would meet its entire electricity requirements with the excess power being sold to the national grid.

"Apart from considerable cost savings in the highly volatile environment for thermal power generation, the company also qualifies to obtain carbon credits," Tokyo Cement’s joint managing directors S R Gnanam and K Yanagihara said.

Carbon credits refer to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by operating energy efficient or eco-friendly projects that can be traded on the world market for carbon.

The Tokyo Cement roller mill that is to be commissioned soon would strengthen the operational efficiency of a new US$20m  cement plant in Trincomalee that was launched last year.

The new plant doubled group production capacity to 1.8Mt of cement which it said was more than enough to meet the group’s growth prospects in the medium term.

Gnanam and Yanagihara said the company was taking measures to reduce emission of pollutants into the atmosphere from cement manufacture which is known for its high release of carbon dioxide from the treatment of limestone.