ROVERETO, Italy—Marangoni Tyre S.p.A. has dismissed media reports suggesting it plans to build a $75-million tire plant in Sri Lanka, insisting instead that its involvement will be “indirect.”
The Sri Lankan government, on June 15, approved a proposal to establish a $73.4 million, 3 million unit tire plant at Gonapola, in the country's Horana district.
In a statement, the Italian company said that after the suspension of its passenger car tire production in Europe in 2014, it has begun talks to sell its “production plants” to Ceylon Steel Corp.
The company's passenger car radials production was mainly based in its plant in Anagni, Rome, which was closed in 2013 as part of Marangoni's pullout of the passenger car tire segment.
“The discussed possible joint venture has been based upon the transfer of Anagni equipment and technology,” the Rovereto-based company said.
Marangoni confirmed that the Anagni plant had a capacity of 3 million units a year.
Separately from this investment, Marangoni has been operating its own industrial tire manufacturing facilities in Sri Lanka since 2008.
Marangoni said that the industrial tires are not being discussed with its Sri Lankan partners.
Sri Lanka has an annual income of roughly $470 million from the export of pneumatic and retreated rubber tires and tubes. The figure is nearly 62 percent of the total rubber exports of Sri Lanka.