Bestowed by the country’s President, the Presidential Export Award is considered Sri Lanka’s highest honour in recognition of outstanding contribution to the export sector and to the country’s economic development. The most recent awards ceremony took place on 26 November, and tyre maker GRI was named Best Exporter of Dry Rubber Products for the second consecutive year.
With global demand for its specialty tyres on the rise, Sri Lankan off-highway tyre maker GRI is expanding its manufacturing capacity through a range of projects, including construction of a new mixing plant in Mirigama, 40 miles east of Colombo. GRI is investing US$25 million to set up the facility, which will have a capacity of 200 tonnes a day.
Last Friday was an important day for GRI in regards to its environmental engagements – the Sri Lankan tyre maker launched its ‘Greening Our Planet’ project by planting 450 rubber trees at smallholder rubber farms in Moneragala District.
Green has long been a byword for environmental awareness, and to ensure nobody doubts the credentials of its latest product, GRI Tires is offering the new Ultimate Green XT in this particular colour. The company says the tyre is its “most environmentally-friendly” product so far.
Locally harvested natural rubber is the key raw material that Sri Lankan tyre maker GRI Tires utilises. It thus views natural rubber farmers as important stakeholders in the ‘GRI ecosystem’. This is an ecosystem that “focuses on sustainability and aims to inspire the farming communities by recognising their work as well as providing knowledge and skills for their development and optimising the yields from their natural rubber farms.”
GRI Tires has been present and building its customer base in the US market for more than 18 years now. Gary Stevens, GRI’s president of sales for material handling tyres in the US, thus comments that “despite the pandemic and the resultant restrictions, GRI continues to cater to the requirements of the customer with the business seeing growth during the last year.”
GRI Tires reports that the second phase expansion of its new production facility, which began in January 2021, is progressing well despite the challenges posed by the current lockdown in Sri Lanka. It is building the new and advanced specialty tyre manufacturing plant next to the current facility with a total investment of US$100 million.
Sri Lankan tyre maker GRI Tires strives to be a responsible company that always recognises the importance of giving back to the country and its people, especially in times of need. Managing director Prabhash Subasinghe states that it “is ingrained in our DNA as an organisation to give back to society.”
Sri Lanka’s Global Rubber Industries (GRI Tires) has acquired Australian tyre supplier Tradefaire International’s industrial tyre business, Axis Tyres Pty Ltd. The acquisition includes Axis locations in Melbourne (Altona and Braeside), Sydney and Adelaide. Together with GRI’s existing branch in Brisbane, the company now operates five sites in Australia.
Sri Lanka-based manufacturer GRI Tires has laid the foundation for a new mixing plant. The facility, located some 25 miles from Colombo in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone (MEPZ), will initially give GRI the capacity to increase specialty tyre output by 100 tons a day. A further project phase will double capacity.