- Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:02
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The BOI signed an agreement with Plumbago Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a venture for mining and to export value added graphite. Plumbago Lanka plans to drive resurgence in this export-orientated industry and make a significant contribution to the local economy by investing US$20 to US$78 million over the next 4 years.
Esna Group of Companies, a local firm with interests in power generation, finance companies and logistics, will hold a 25% stake in the venture. The Chairman of the Esna Group of companies, Eshana De Silva is a Director for Plumbago Lanka.
BOI stated “this project is very important to the BOI as our agency, from its inception, has sought to promote projects where value addition has been applied to local natural resources. Hence the export of value added graphite will be beneficial to Sri Lanka’s economy. Graphite has many industrial applications and projects such as that of Plumbago Lanka (Pvt) Ltd will receive the continued support of the BOI”.
Graphite is commonly used in refractories, steel, lubricants, disk brake pads, and paints, with emerging applications in the lithium ion battery and fuel cell markets. The short term demand is expected to grow at 4-5% (YoY), and this figure could rise to as much as 20% by 2020. Prices have tripled since 2005 primarily due to increased demand from BRIC countries and from the steel and automotive markets.
Sri Lanka is highly renowned for its crystalline vein graphite, with purity levels ranging from 80-99% carbon.