Friday, 17 January 2020 15:27

Government resurrect Valachchenai paper mill soon

In the quest of an industrial renaissance, the new government is planning to revive the now defunct Valachchenai paper mill considered an asset to the country.

A high level discussion of top officials of the Small and Medium Business and Entrepreneur Development Ministry was held recently to find ways and, means to resume operations of the paper mil soon.

Valaichchenai Paper Mill had to be modernised and there were only around eighty workers at the mill and majority of the workers were over 60 years old, a senior official said.

It had been making losses for over the last 29 years and was once earmarked to be closed.

It was in 2011 the then Management of the National Paper Company Limited sought a sum of Rs.1,800 million for the renovation of the Valaichcenai Paper Mill which was installed in 1955 as a government owned entity.

The mill could operate at its optimal capacity if it could be given a cash injection, he suggested.

Valaichchenai Paper Mill would be able to manufacture not less than 2,000 MT of paper and board items per month and emerge as a profit making entity with a proper investment and development plan.

If the mill was closed, it would be a national crime as it was a gold mine to the country, he added.

The Valachchenai Paper Mill built in 1955 started commercial operations in 1956 and the Mill became a state owned venture in 1976.

According to official statistics more than 3,000 workers were employed at the mill in the 1970s and it had funded the expansion into a second paper mill at Embilipiya in 1976.

Both these public ventures fulfilled 70 per cent of country’s paper demand until terrorism engulfed the Eastern Province in the 1990s.

(LI)

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