Global Rubber Industries (GRI) is continuing the second phase of its US$100m expansion plans with the construction of a tire manufacturing facility in Badalgama, Sri Lanka, in order to meet growing demand.
“The new manufacturing facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and is set to quadruple GRI’s current production capacity, bringing it to 750,000 tires per year and a total capacity of 100 tons per day. The new factory will focus on agriculture tires with a large share dedicated for advanced radial agriculture tires. Furthermore, GRI is the only manufacturer in Sri Lanka with radial agriculture manufacturing capability. We will also be doubling employment and will build the GRI team to 500 employees across areas such as production, engineering, quality assurance, advanced technology, research and development,” explained Mahesha Ranasoma, CEO of GRI.
Notably, the facility will produce 2.5MW of solar power from roof-mounted panels and use biomass boilers instead of conventional furnace oil boilers. An environmentally friendly ‘dry’ process will continue to be used during production, which the company says means low material wastage and gas emissions and minimal need for liquid disposal. GRI’s green policies will be continued through rainwater harvesting, a wastewater management system and a carbon footprint analysis to offset environmental impacts.
Ananda Caldera, executive director of GRI, commented, “The new facility will add 11,600m2 of production area that will take the main tire plant to 22,400m2 (240,000ft2 ) which is equivalent to the size of three football (soccer) fields. A key feature in the new production plant is that it will equip GRI with the capability to manufacture larger sized agricultural tires. Our maximum tire size now is 50in . We will soon be able to manufacture tires up to 60in in size in the new production plant to meet growing market demand and cater to our customer requirements. Further, the company will add 22 tire building machines and 36 presses to its current capacity.”