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DateLine Sunday, 19 August 2007

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Government Gazette

Puttalam salt refinery to save Rs. 800 m forex annually

The Raigam-Wayamba Saltern launched the first salt refinery in Puttalam to manufacture free flour table salt using the Kreb Swiss Salex technology which will save over Rs. 800 million foreign exchange per annum.

The factory with over 250 employees has the capacity to manufacture 150mt of refined iodised table salt daily which will enable the country to slash the quantum of imports from India and Thailand.


Dr. Ravi Liyanage responds to questions from the media
Pic by Sumanachandre Ariyawansa

Chairman, CEO Raigam Wayamba Saltern, Dr. Ravi Liyanage said the country depends heavily on imported table salt from neighbouring countries for centuries due to poor quality, low hygienic standards and poor presentation which resulted in a huge drain on the country's foreign exchange.

"Table salt from India dominated the markets as there was no technology to produce refined table salt. The raw salt that was manufactured contained mud and other soil particles which discoloured it and had health risks", he said.

The salt industry is highly labour intensive and our traditional raw salt manufacturers faced enormous challenges to sell their product at a reasonable price and had to grapple with rains constantly which adversely affected the manufacturing process. Salt is an essential component in preparing a meal and the quantity used is the same whether one is rich or poor and it has Iodine which is essential to combat thyroid and prevent deaths at birth.

The Wayamba Saltern will ensure a stable market and a reasonable price for salt farmers in Puttalam who had been having a profit of only Re.1 per Kilogram in selling a 50kg packet of salt for Rs. 60.

Managing Director Raigam Wayamba Saltern, Ganaka Amarasinghe said the aim of the company was to help local salt manufacturers to improve the quality of their products and ensure a stable market.

LF

 

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