Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.
GRI recently held two outreach events with some of the natural rubber farming communities it works with. The events were held under GRI’s Green X Circle initiative which supports Sri Lanka’s farming communities and the country’s vibrant agricultural industry. Identifying a need for extra-curricular sporting activities and equipment for school children in the area, the company distributed cricket, volleyball and badminton equipment to selected schools in Monaragala, Sri Lanka.
At the start of 2021 GRI managing director Prabhash Subasinghe reflected on 2020 and shares his focus for 2021. Beginning with a reflection on the true meaning of resilience – something that is only put to the test only when you go through a year like 2020 – Subasinghe spoke proudly about GRI and the company’s home country Sri Lanka:
“I am humbled and proud of how resilient we were as people, a company, and a country. Our fortitude drove the way we interacted with society and the way we managed our relationships with our stakeholders. GRI showed an incredible amount of resilience in all facets.
Sri Lankan newspaper Daily FT reports that Chinese tyre maker Shandong Haohua Tire Co. Ltd. intends to build a factory in the country and produce both car and truck tyres there for export markets. The plant will be located on a 121 acre (49 hectare) site near the major port of Hambantota. Haohua Tire anticipates exporting its first tyres from the plant within three years.
GRI is supplying tyres to Joskin, the agricultural Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) based in Belgium. Announcing the news at the end of October, Joskin said it has been in operation since 1968 and is one of the world’s leading producers of agricultural trailers, tankers, and related equipment to meet the changing needs of global farmers.
During the last 18 years GRI has expanded significantly. Across the material handling, agricultural and construction segments, GRI now produces a total of 100 tonnes of tyres a day. Most recently the company added new mixing capacity in a bid to expand the company’s overall production output. So how does this particular action fit into the wider strategy? Tyres & Accessories interviewed GRI managing director Prabhash Subasinghe in order to find out.
Global Rubber Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. (GRI) has spent the last 18 years since its foundation cultivating its niche in the industrial, agricultural and construction tyre sectors. With ambitious capacity and expansion plans underway, Tyres & Accessories interviewed managing director Prabhash Subasinghe and learnt more about the company’s plans to build on its growth foundations.
This interview appears in full in the November edition of Tyres & Accessories magazine. Not yet a subscriber? You can change that here.
Specialty tyre manufacturer GRI is adding a new mixing facility in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Sri Lanka. The new mixing facility will have capacity to produce 200 tonnes day, up from the current capacity of 50 – 60 metric tonnes a day, and is being interpreted as a pre-cursor to increased tyre output.
GRI recently hosted politicians from Sri Lanka’s Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation. Specifically, national dignitary Basil Rajapaksa made a visit to GRI’s new factory, which purportedly one of the largest specialty tyre plants in Sri Lanka and the first to produce radial agriculture tyres in the country.
GRI has upgraded its website (www.gritires.com). Now, according to the company, it features “streamlined navigation and recognizes the farmers, construction workers and forklift operators who move the world.”
GRI has developed what is purportedly Sri Lanka and the company’s first winter off-the-road (OTR) tyre for the Japanese market. Designed in collaboration with its Japanese partner, the Gripex Snow tyre is designed to withstand the winter weather and distinct terrain of Hokkaido prefecture in northern Japan. The new tyre is fitted on vehicles used in sub-zero temperatures in order to offer “optimal traction and higher stability on snow”.
Global demand for natural rubber is outpacing supply, so stakeholders in the global tyre industry need to ensure sustainability is a guiding ethos in its operations, GRI states. The Sri Lankan manufacturer says sustainability in sourcing, production and disposal are key to its goals.
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.