India’s Birla group will be allowed to operate a cement plant in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula, construction minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
Jaffna has high purity limestone deposits but cement production ceased with the flare up in hostilities.
"Birla would get a lease and they would operate the project on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis," Senaratne said.
The limestone resources have been eyed by other cement players including Holcim, which operates a 500Mta facility in Puttalam in the island’s Western coast.
However the area, though under government control, is separated from the rest of the island by a territory controlled by Tamil Tiger guerillas.