Horana, Sri Lanka – Rigid Tyre Corp (Pvt) Ltd, part of the UAE-based Onyx Group has restarted building work on a greenfield tire production plant in Sri Lanka.
Rigid Tyre announced plans to build the €72-million plant in Horana, 50km away from Sri Lankan capital of Colombo in January 2017. It was intended to produce 3 million passenger car radial (PCR) tires a year.
The project was then, however, put on hold due to various disputes, including around the allocation of land for the facility.
In response to ERJ’s enquiry, a Rigid Tyre spokesman confirmed that construction activities at the site has been resumed and that the scope of investment had risen to $250 million.
Estimated tonnage of the plant has now expanded to 200 kilotonnes per annum (12.5 million tires) and the company expects to start commercial production by third quarter 2019, the spokesman added.
“The plant is commissioned to manufacture the whole gamut of tires that roll on the roads including passenger as well as commercial and off road tires (OTR tires),” the spokesman added.
Breakdown of the project, he said, now includes 8 million PCR tires, 2 million truck and bus radials (TBR) and 1 million two-wheeler tires. In addition to that, the plant will manufacture 30ktpa of solid tires and 400ktpa of “TBB tires”.
“All tires are designed conforming to European and US standards comprising high performance (HP) & ultra high performance (UHP) tires,” according to the spokesman.
Rigid Tyre’s parent company, Onyx Group, acquired Marangoni’s solid tire assets in May last year. The company already supplies solid tires under the Marangoni brand.
In January 2017, Marangoni and Rigid Tyre agreed on the sale of the solid tire business as well as the transferring of equipment from Marangoni’s Anagni PRC production plant in Italy which was suspended at the end of 2013, when Marangoni exited the PRC segment.