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.”