LONDON—China's Aeolus Tyre Co. Ltd. reportedly is in talks with a Sri Lankan affiliate of United Arab Emirates-based Onyx Group with a view to establishing a truck and bus tire joint venture in the Asian island nation, according to sources close to the negotiations.
Under the proposals, Aeolus would supply technology, expertise and equipment for a truck/bus tire venture with Onyx, which is in the process of establishing a passenger tire plant near Colombo, Sri Lanka, under the auspices of Rigid Tyre Corp. Pvt. Ltd., a business operating under the auspices of Onyx's Ceylon Steel Corp. Ltd. subsidiary.
Sri Lankan government officials are involved closely in negotiations around the proposed joint venture, according to one source.
Establishing a manufacturing base in Sri Lanka would enable Aeolus—which is part of China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina)—to mitigate the impact of European Union and U.S. import duties on truck and bus tire shipments from China.
Onyx bought tire-making equipment for the Colombo facility from an idled Marangoni Group plant in Italy. While this equipment eventually was exported to Sri Lanka, the operational status of the facility is still unclear.
ERJ is awaiting replies from Aeolus and Onyx about this report.