- Industry says renewables will reduce fuel burden on Govt.
- Notes some companies have already converted
By Imsha Iqbal
Several companies in the rubber industry are considering switching to renewable energy to meet their power requirements, while some are already in the process of switching, stated the Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP).
Speaking to The Morning Business, Association Chairman Ravi Dadlani yesterday (6) stated: “The rubber industry can also shift to renewable energy, as it reduces the burden on the Ministry of Power and Energy amidst the ongoing economic crisis in the country due to the dwindling dollar reserves.”
Highlighting the adaptability of rubber product exporters, he noted that CEAT-Kelani Holdings Pvt. Ltd. is already in the process of converting to renewable energy, while rubber exports-related companies in Sri Lanka such as Trelleborg Tyres Lanka Pvt. Ltd. have also opted for renewable energy, according to Dadlani.
He also observed that the demand for furnace oil has been currently increased as a result of the need for an uninterrupted electricity supply to continue production without hindering the production process, while some of the machinery that is particular to the rubber manufacturing industry also requires furnace oil.
During the meeting that took place between Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera and exporters from the rubber and apparel sector, they conducted a discussion where the stakeholders of the said industries explained the prevailing challenges that they are facing in bringing foreign exchange to the country.
He stated, “We exporters from the rubber and apparel sectors discussed with Minister Wijesekera the current crisis over the unavailability of the furnace oil.”
The subject minister took to his Twitter account, saying that the meeting that was held with the said sector representatives saw them discussing “plans for power generation, fuel supplies, proposed Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) tariff rates, renewable energy plans and other requirements of the industries”.
Further, he said that the industry representatives, in the perspective of rubber product manufacturing, had put forward solutions within the scope of fuel and electricity usage pertaining to export merchandise manufacturing.
“When you allocate a lot of diesel and furnace oil for power generation, then there is a shortage for industry,” he said, stressing that the increased demand would have repercussions that would affect the overall industry.
Moreover, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Secretary General Yohan Lawrence, speaking about the discussion with the Minister, stated: “Diesel, furnace oil, aviation fuel, container trucks to be facilitated, uninterrupted electricity supply, bunker fuel, renewable energy, crude oil, investment, dollars for payment, refinery, challenges from the past to the future were discussed.”
Lawrence also appreciated the efforts of the Minister on behalf of JAAF, noting that the Minister had been able to grasp “complex” industry issues, and “had developed short-, medium-, and long-term solutions while attending to the spot issues”.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe recently stressed at the General Meeting of the Chamber of Young Lankan Enterprises (COYLE), the necessity behind Sri Lanka being export-oriented and reducing its import dependency at this point, as a way out of the crisis, as the country is spending more foreign exchange than it earns.