COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—Specialty tire maker Global Rubber Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. said the second phase of the expansion of its production facility, which began in January, is progressing well despite the current lockdown in Sri Lanka caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
The $100 million facility is being constructed adjacent to GRI's current facility. GRI said it hopes to increase capacity to 750,000 tires per year, for a a total capacity of 100 tons per day.
GRI said the installed machine capacity has increased from 25 tons of tires per day in January to 35 tons per day presently, with plans to reach a production capacity of 1,000 tons of tires per month by July.
All the required machinery for the expansion has been commissioned, according to GRI, which noted the total area will be 220,000 square feet—the size of four football fields.
"The building expansion work is ongoing for the entire land," GRI Executive Director Ananda Caldera said in a statement. "We will be doubling the extent of the production facility."
Caldera said the tire maker hopes to complete construction by October, and "by December we will have an installed capacity of 50 tons per day."
GRI will expand capacity to reach 100 tons per day in 2022.
The company continues to focus on reducing its carbon footprint as well as its impact on the environment. Solar panels there will generate 2.5 megawatts of power.
"We will focus on optimizing energy efficiency, water conservation and waste management," GRI CEO Mahesha Ranasoma said in a statement. "The building is designed in a way that, during the day, the facility will be illuminated by natural light. Greening of the production facility will be done by planting over 75 trees on the premises."
GRI, founded in 2002, produces material handling solid tires, radial agriculture tires and construction tires. It has a business presence in more than 50 countries, with manufacturing in nine.
The Sri Lanka plant opened in 2018 to produce radial agricultural tires. Construction of a large mixing facility for tire compounds began last year and was commissioned in January.