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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Lanka Walltile invests in alternate energy source

Lanka Walltile Meepe (Pvt) Limited (LWMPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Lanka Walltile PLC and EnerFab (Pvt) Limited recently signed an agreement on an 'Energy Saving' process through a Wood Gasification project.

Under this agreement EnerFab (Pvt) Ltd will undertake the project on a turnkey basis to design, supply, install and commission a Wood Gasification process at LWMPL for use at their Ceramic Wall Tile factory.

It is envisaged that the duration of the project from the designing stage to commissioning will be approximately five months. The continuing steep increases in the cost of LPG and other fuel in recent years has driven the industry to look for alternate sources of energy to reduce cost of production. "the cost of energy is around 39% to 40% of the total cost of production today, said Lucky de Chickera, Managing Director of LWMPL.

He said "EnerFab (Pvt) Ltd will also ensure the supply of wood for this Gasification process over the period of the contract through a process of collection and plantation schemes that they maintain.

Gliricidia, ipil ipil and similar shade trees, are being cultivated in underutilised areas in the Puttalam and Embilipitiya districts for this purpose.

The advantages of converting petroleum based heat generation into sustainable wood base heat generation are many". The more important of which are savings in foreign exchange for the country, creating employment opportunities in rural areas and reduction in soil degradation and erosion through increased tree cover," he said.

"From a Company point of view we are looking at an annual cost reduction of between Rs. 35 - 40 million initially.

The possibility of extending the use of wood gasification in stages into other areas of energy consumption will also be considered thereafter."

M/s. Lucky de Chickera - Managing Director, Amaranath Uswattearachchi - Assistant General Manager (Finance) and Thajitha Perera - Factory Manager represented LWMPL while M/s. Indika Gallage - Managing Director, Ruwan Nagahawatte - Engineer & Chamika Perera - Engineer represented EnerFab (Pvt) Limited at the discussion and Agreement signing.

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