Dec 192013
Dipped Products to invest in new glove manufacturing facility in Biyagama Zone
Dipped Products PLC, the rubber glove manufacturer of Hayleys Group said it is investing in a new facility at the Biyagama BOI Zone, where commercial operations are expected to commence from mid April 2014.

The company’s glove manufacturing facility–Venigros-in Rathupaswala, Weliweriya was alleged for contaminating water in the area, a claim which is not martially substantiated.

Accordingly, Dipped Products was compelled to close down the factory end of July amid severe protests that even cost a life and injured many protestors.

“In spite of all efforts made by the management to resume operations, inter alia, continued opposition by villagers prevented the company from doing so for the last 5 months,” Dipped Products said in a disclosure.

At a recent press conference, the senior management of the company accused authorities including the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and the Health Ministry for failing to clear the misconception among villagers concerning the company’s non-involvement in water pollution.

Dipped Products Managing Director Dr. Mahesh Ranasoma said, following the initial misconception of the factory being responsible for the low pH levels in the area’s water sources, various tests were carried out by government analyst, Water Supply and Drainage Board and Central Environmental Authority, and all specified that no clear evidence was present to determine a link between the contamination and the factory’s effluent releases.

“Once our position was cleared, we made repeated requests to t he Board of Investment, Water Supply and Drainage Board, Health Ministry and the Gampaha GA to issue statements that would clear the misconception regarding our involvement, but was unsuccessful. As a result, our repeated attempts to talk to the villagers and clear misunderstandings have failed, leading to a halt in our production process,” Dr. Ranasoma noted.

Hayleys Chairman Mohan Pandithage who also expressed his views at the media briefing said they were still trying their best to reach an amicable solution and facilitate the factory reopening.

“We were informed that we could relocate the factory to Biyagama. But we do not wish to relocate as it would incur heavy costs on the company. Also, by the time we complete the relocation, we would have lost all our clients and it all would have been for nothing,” he said adding that despite the many invitations received from Malaysia to move operations there, they would try out all other options to work out a solution in Sri Lanka.

According to Dipped Products management, Venigros factory accounts for 1 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports. The company’s global market share in non-surgical rubber gloves stands at 4 percent and has 7 manufacturing subsidiaries in Sri Lanka, a medical glove manufacturing company in Thailand and a marketing company based in Italy.

Jul 192013
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