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Korean SPA Packaging signs with BOI to resume Embilipitiya Paper Mill

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BOI Chairman Edirisuriya and Director General Renuka M. Weerakone at the signing the agreement along with KSPA Directors Saveen Abeyratne and Sonali Abeyratne

Korean SPA Packaging (Pvt.) Ltd. (KSPA), recently signed an agreement with the Board of Investment (BOI) with respect to the resumption of the operation at the defunct Embilipitiya Paper Mill, to manufacture paper for the corrugated industry which had discontinued its production since 2012.

Anurath Abeyratne

The project, which is a USD 16 million-investment in its first phase, aims at manufacturing industrial grade papers for the direct and indirect export market by upgrading machinery and infrastructure. Embilipitiya Paper Mills, belonging to the National Paper Company Limited is the second oldest paper mill in the country set up in 1978. However, the operations came to a standstill in 2003 and though it resumed operations in 2011, it became a very short stint as the paper mill was closed again in 2012.

Subsequently, the factory was up for sale and this is when the KSPA decided to resurrect this giant corporation through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) amid a spate of hurdles. Expressing his sentiments, KSPA and Anunine Holdings Chairman, Anurath Abeyratne spelled out “I decided to take up the challenge to resume the production at the defunct state paper mill at Embilipitiya to prevent dollars from flowing out of the country, generate job opportunities and giving a hand to uplift the economy at large. The new venture will also save extensive outflow of dollars.”

“As far as the technology to be used in the paper mill is concerned, we will be using automated machines in an eco-friendly way,” he stressed. Abeyratne also disclosed his vision and commitment to bringing the paper mill to its full functionality by 2023. Elaborating further on his vision for this mega-project, Abeyratne hinted at a planned second phase with an addition of a pulp mill to recycle waste paper and produce wet pulp which will be exported to international markets to generate forex.

BOI Chairman Raja Edirisuriya said “It seems that the KSPA is taking the paper industry to a next level with its new project and it is commendable that the industry is in safe hands. It has to be said that the KSPA is setting an example for the entire business community where they manifest the actual role to be played by the private companies, at a juncture where the country is standing at a crossroads. BOI is always willing to give a hand to such ventures,” Edirisuriya added.

KSPA is a 100% Sri Lankan owned, BOI accredited portfolio company of Anunine Holdings; a highly diversified, privately held, family-owned group of companies with a thirty-year history in the export sector and over two thousand direct employees.

Monday, June 20, 2022 – 01:00

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