Unilever’s five billion rupee state-of-the-art soap and soap powder manufacturing plant at the Horana Export Processing Zone will begin its production process this year marking the company’s 125 year existence in the country, officials said.
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to Unilever Sri Lanka Limited to set up this plant with a production capacity of 50,000 tons of soap and soap powder per annum. This was revealed to the Business Times by Asanga Ranasinghe, Marketing Director at Unilever, Sri Lanka on the sidelines of a press conference convened to convey the re- launch of its Sunlight brand in Colombo this week. Sunlight, one of the country’s popular brands takes on an entirely new and fresh look for the first time in its 125 year history, he added. It is the number one laundry soap brand, with a record seven bars of soap sold every second.
To mark the re-launch the company will be initiating the “Soorya Sathkaraya programme by conducting 125 community service projects in 53 villages providing benefits for 27,000 families this month. This will be another CSR project of the company, he said.
Unilever new state-of-the-art “green” manufacturing facility, established in a 26 acre area, will cater to the local demand and may also serve as a regional sourcing hub for Unilever, Mr. Ranasinghe said. The factory will provide direct employment for around 1,600 and indirect employment to several thousands, he revealed.
As of today, Unilever Sri Lanka has 75 years of manufacturing history in this country and produces 95% of all the products it markets in Sri Lanka. “By building the new production facility, we will contribute towards Sri Lanka ’s industrial and economic success. We will be able to remain competitive and the new production facility provides scope for expansion of the business” Mr. Ranasinghe said. Today Unilever Sri Lanka is home to 27 popular brands that are leaders in all the 11 categories that they operate in.