Holcim Lanka makes bid to invest in Jaffna cement plant

Holcim Lanka makes bid to invest in Jaffna cement plant
Published: 10 June 2008

Holcim Lanka said it has made an investment proposal to Lanka Cement to revive production at its defunct plant in the northern Jaffna peninsula or build a new one.
 
Holcim Lanka chairman Manilal Fernando said his firm is prepared to invest in a profit sharing joint venture if the government does not want to sell the plant in Kankesanturai, in Jaffna.
 
He said the government must give a chance to all parties interested in the plant, sitting on a rich limestone deposit, which is also eyed by India’s Birla group.
 
"We’re here for the long term. We don’t mind transparent, open competitive bidding may the best man win. We’re not asking for a closed bid." State-run Lanka Cement, which is listed on the Colombo stock exchange, has a plant with a 250,000tpa capacity kiln that has been defunct for more than a decade owing to fighting between government forces and Tamil Tigers.
 
Last year, the Construction Ministry said India’s Birla group had offered to invest and revive production in Jaffna by taking over the Lanka Cement plant.
 
The news led to speculative trading in Lanka Cement shares.