Salt export project to net USD 200 mn annual revenue | Daily News
Company turns tables with Rs 47 mn profit in 2020:

Salt export project to net USD 200 mn annual revenue

European markets in limelight adding new commodity to export basket:

Lanka Salt Ltd, Hambantota which suffered Rs. 200 million loss in 2019 under the previous regime has made a dramatic turnaround and has posted a Rs. 47 million profit for 2020.

Chairman Nishantha Sandabarana speaking to ‘Daily News Business’ said that they hope to improve this to around Rs. 70 million by end of 2021 using several new management tools and cost-cutting.

“I have also made several viable project proposals beginning of last year to increase this profit to a three-figure mark,” he assured.

Road salt use is common and growing throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, China and even South America to melt snow and there is huge potential for Sri Lanka in this area, he noted.

“I identified this opportunity and spoke to several European Municipal Councils through Lankan Embassies and other contacts to export specially modified sales for this purpose. This will be a new commodity to the local export basket which will net over USD 200 million annual income to Sri Lanka.

“For this, we need to build a Rs. 300 million plant and I have three readymade private companies keen to invest as joint venture partners ensuring that Lanka Salt doesn’t need to invest.”

“We have around 200 acres of salt plains and I have outlined a project to solarize the entire Lanka salt facility in Hambantota which will firstly save our monthly Rs. 2.5 billion electricity bill and secondly generate a monthly income in the excess of Rs. 1 million from this.”

Lanka Salt annually spends over Rs. 30 million to cover salt dumps using polythene and cadjan leaves. “I plan to build permanent concrete structures to cover these salt dumps and offer the roof to install solar.”

When this idea was put forward to Minister Namal Rajapaksa he found investors who would not only build these concrete bunkers for us but would install solar on top of it and ensure a Zero electricity bill for us and also to provide us with a rental.”

“Here again Lanka Sale doesn’t have to be invested.”

He said when these two projects along with other development initiatives were put forward to the Board for approval but EPF which owns a 90% stake in Lanka Salt objected to them for reasons best known to them.

“Hence these profit-making projects could not take off.”

He recalled that it was the former Minister of Labour Mahinda Rajapaksa who was the saviour when plans were afloat to privatize Lanka Salt under the Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga regime. “We are now meeting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek his intervention to move ahead with these projects.”

Lanka Sale has nearly 600 unused acres of land stretching up near Yala National Park and has plans to launch Eco-tourism projects soon.


Express Pearl would not impede salt production

Sri Lanka would not have any negative impact from the sinking of the Express Pearl ship towards the production of salt.

Chairman Lanka Salt Nishantha Sandabarana said half of the containers that carried harmful chemicals were burnt off due to the fire and less than half got mixed to the sea. “One must understand that the sea is huge and has so many other chemical components that can absorb and neutralize harmful chemicals of this nature and I don’t see any negative impact from these chemicals towards salt production. Hence we ensure an uninterrupted supply of salt to the nation.”



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