Colombo – GRI has broken ground on the second phase of a $100-million project to establish a major manufacturing facility in Badalgama, Sri Lanka, the company has announced.
Due to be completed by December, the new project will expand a $40-million speciality tire plant inaugurated by GRI in early 2018, the tire maker said 18 Jan.
The expansion is set to quadruple GRI’s current production capacity to 750,000 tires/year and a total capacity of 100 tonnes/day, according to the company.
The new factory, it said, will focus on agriculture tires with a large share of output dedicated for "advanced" radials.
The facility will add 11,600 square metres of production area,l taking the footprint of the current production site to 22,400 square metres.
“GRI’s expansion and increase in our production capacity, in such a short time frame, is [in response to] demand for our GRI branded products in recent years,” said GRI managing director Prabhash Subasinghe (centre of photo).
“We are well-positioned to carve a niche for Sri Lankan specialty tires in the world market,” Subasinghe further stated.
Phase 2 will double employment to around 500 employees across areas such as production, engineering, quality assurance, advanced technology and R&D, the company said.
The new facility, it added, will equip GRI with the capability to manufacture larger sized agricultural tires, for which the maximum tire size is currently 50 inches.
“We will soon be able to manufacture tires up to 60 inches in size in the new production plant,” said Ananda Caldera, executive director of GRI.
“Further, the company will add 22 tire building machines and 36 presses to its current capacity,” acording to Caldera.
In 2020, GRI also commenced construction of a new mixing facility in the Mirigama export processing zone in Sri Lanka.