The main paper manufacturing machine of the once defunct Valachchenai paper mill was once again revived on Saturday (30). The machine was revived once again on the orders of Minister of Small and Medium Business and Enterprise Development, Industries, and Supply Chain Management Wimal Weerawansa. The effort was supported by local and foreign engineers as well as the engineering corps of the Navy and Army. Test production of paper commenced on Friday.
Speaking at the event Weerawansa said that the mill will be prepared to commence commercial printing and that paper as well as board from G.S.M 60 – 200 will be manufactured here.
The Minister said a multipurpose development project for the 500 acres of the mill was submitted to cabinet and a loan of Rs. 800 million for its revival will be obtained shortly. He said he believes the National Paper Company Lanka will become a profit-making business in the near future.
He said when fully operational the Valaichchenai Paper Mill will provide over direct 400 employment and help to create new business opportunities to the youth in the area.
Weereawansa said that plans were underway to convert 300 acres as an investment park and tourism zone and also have the world’s largest ‘Print Museum’ in Valaichchenai.
The state-owned National Paper Company’s which was built in 1952 with German assistance helped Sri Lanka to be self-sufficient in paper. In 1992 LTTE bombed the factory and it was shut down since.