The president of Sri Lanka His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Prabhash Subasinghe, managing director of GRI, to the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation. The task force exists because Sri Lanka’s government has identified the need to create balanced social and economic development in the country, aligned with expectations by the United Nations such as environmental conservation, renewable energy and toxin-free food production, as well as the need to minimize poverty.
Agility and rapid responsiveness are important for GRI, and the company believes these qualities set it apart within the specialty tyre manufacturing industry. It shares that the firm has “been ahead of other companies in the industry” facing the current COVID-19 situation thanks to the very proactive and far-sighted actions of its senior management.
GRI has introduced a new tyre for heavy-duty loader applications, the Gripex LT122. The Sri Lankan tyre maker says the LT22 features a sturdy and robust nylon casing that provides extraordinary impact and shock resistance for extended tyre life. It adds that the tyre’s tread compound ensures resistance against wear and cuts, whilst the tread design enables higher traction for better productivity.
Sri Lanka-based speciality tyre manufacturer GRI reports that it has acquired the Estonia-based Nortire Group. Headquartered in Estonia, with a branch in Latvia and two branches in Lithuania, Nortire is a speciality tyre distributor. According to GRI, the acquisition will further expand the GRI’s global tyre service network, while attaining a significant foothold in the North European tyre market. The news follows a non-acquisition Middle East strategic partnership with Al-Dobowi in April 2019.
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.
A full reengineering of steam generation equipment at the Trelleborg Wheel Systems plant in Sri Lanka will improve the facility’s environmental footprint as well as its production efficiency. Trelleborg is installing a new biomass boiler at the production site in Makola, near Colombo; it reports that work on this “major investment” has already begun, and the new process will be fully operational from June 2019.
China has begun establishing a rubber Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Sri Lanka. The arrangement will help promote the country’s rubber industry and boost sector earnings. In return, China is asking for long-term access to lands and tax concessions, according to various media reports.
GRI Tires has announced the appointment of a new chairman and a new CEO.
Harris Premaratne was appointed as GRI’s chairman with effect from the 29 March 2018. A veteran banker, Premaratne’s appointment is intended to help take GRI to a “leading position amongst global specialty tyre manufactures”.
The Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber products (SLAMERP) has praised the USA’s decision to revoke the countervailing duty imposed upon off-the-road tyres imported from Sri Lanka. Commenting upon the ruling made by the US Court of International Trade on 11 July, SLAMERP notes that it “expresses confidence” in the growth of Sri Lankan exports to the USA.