Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd (PDIL), a subsidiary of Pelwatte Sugar Industries PLC (PSIPLC), plans to launch its milk powder production soon. Machinery imported from Denmark has been installed at the milk powder plant for this purpose. “We are in the process of completing the milk powder plant”, Chairman of the company Ariyaseela Wickremanayake told the Business Times, adding that Pelwatte milk foods will enter the local market shortly.
Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd. has invested Rs.1.8 billion on the state-of-the-art dairy processing plant and animal feed production factory in the Monaragala District. Liquid milk for this factory is being collected from the districts of Monaragala and Ampara amounting to 150,000 litres per day. The factory currently produces yoghurt and ice cream. "Around 25,000 farmers work directly at the dairy factory in Pelawatte while 40,000 persons indirectly benefited by the project," he added.
Mr. Wickremanayake revealed that the company will launch an Rs.450 million Initial Public Offer (IPO) at the end of this month or in the first week of February. He said that 20% of the company stock would be offered to the public.
Meanwhile production at Pelwatte Sugar Factory, the largest sugar factory in Sri Lanka, has come down from 42,000 tons in 2009 to 29,000 tons in 2010 due to bad weather conditions. However the factory is functioning smoothly under Pelwatte Sugar Industries PLC (PSIPLC) without any industrial disputes or worker unrest, said Mr. Wickremanayake. He denied allegations from the Inter Company Employees Union which claimed that the wages of the employees and the vehicle owners who supplied transport facilities as well as the farmers who supplied sugar cane to the factory were not paid properly. All the payments were made and there was no worker dispute at the factory, he said.
The company cultivates sugarcane under rain-fed conditions, and produces sugar and other byproducts from the raw cane. PSIPLC's subsidiary, Pelwatte Sugar Distilleries (Pvt) Limited, produces potable and technical alcohol utilizing molasses, a byproduct of the sugar factory.