BADALGAMA, Sri Lanka—Global Rubber Industries Pvt. Ltd. recently celebrated the third anniversary of its specialty tire plant in Badalgama, where capacity is being quadrupled in the second phase of the plant's $100 million investment package.
Due to be completed by December, the Phase II project will focus on agriculture tires, with a large share of output dedicated for "advanced" radials, the company said, while nearly doubling the plant's size to more than 240,000 square feet.
The facility manufactures pneumatic specialty tires for agriculture, construction and materials-handling applications, with a capacity of 25 metric tons per day.
Ananda Caldera, executive director of GRI, called the exponential growth of the facility "a monumental achievement" for the tire maker.
"We developed specifications, produced samples, tested extensively and industrialized rapidly to build a comprehensive and compelling product portfolio," Caldera said. "It was a massive exercise, from the beginning, for all involved. I am proud to say that today, we have industrialized and commercialized over 300 SKUs."
GRI CEO Mahesha Ranasoma noted: "Innovation is in our DNA. Our skilled engineers, researchers and technical experts take GRI forward swiftly, covering all aspects of our products, production and process innovation."
The expansion will allow GRI to make ag tires with rim diameters up to 60 inches, up from 50 inches currently. The added investment will include 22 tire building machines and 36 curing presses.
Prabhash Subasinghe, managing director of GRI, lauded workers who made the plan a success so soon.
"I am grateful to our employees, our community and our customers who believed in our ambition and our purpose to inspire greatness," he said.
The Phase II expansion will double employment to around 500, including jobs in production, engineering, quality assurance, advanced technology and research and development, the company said. The plant's capacity in units will grow to 750,000 tires per year.