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Eppawela Rock Phosphate plan takes a new turn
By Bandula Sirimanna

The Eppawela Rock Phosphate plan, which ran into a storm many years back during the involvement of a US company, is taking a major shift in position.

The thinking now is to use this resource for domestic agriculture instead of the earlier plan to export it, exploit the phosphate deposit in a sustainable manner and reduce reliance on imported fertilizer.

The National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka is planning to harness the knowledge and experience of scientists who are involved in research work on this phosphate resource to prepare a comprehensive plan to use rock phosphate as fertilizer under its Coordinated Thematic Research Programme (CTRP) on Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources. This was revealed at a recent meeting of experts engaged in the Eppawela Rock Phosphate research activities.

However a very senior Geological expert pointed out that mining of apatite mine at Eppawala in the Anuradhapura district will not only cause irreparable social and ecological damage, but also rapidly deplete the country of a valuable natural resource and contribute little in 'value-added' to the economy. He added that the Supreme Court had issued an injunction on June 2, 2000 restraining any contracts relating to the Eppawela Phosphate deposit. However other members who attended the meeting decided to go ahead with the development of the Programme Document for Eppawela Rock Phosphate as they were of the view that sustainable utilization of natural resources is essential not only for national development, but also to ensure that future generations will continue to enjoy the benefits of that development.

"We have proposed a plan to the government to make Single Super Phosphate (SSP) that can be substituted for Triple Super Phosphate (TSP), the entire requirement of which is imported for use in short-term crops like rice and vegetables," said Dr. Chandana Udawatte, Chairman of Lanka Phosphate Ltd. The island imports around 40,000 MT of TSP annually at a cost of about Rs 34,000 per tonne. "Instead of TSP we propose to make and use SSP, which is mainly used in India," said Dr Udawatte. "Local scientists have shown that rock phosphate can be converted to SSP and used to fertilise crops in Sri Lanka." He said that 92 percent of the total fertilizer consumption of the country is done through imports and the cost is around Rs 10 billion annually. The company has taken measures to manufacture Single Super Phosphate with the advice and research carried out at main rice and research centres in Bathalagoda and Bombuwala.

He added that the company has ventured into fertilizer mixing and blending to manufacture NPK, organic and bio-fertilizer and it has made a request from the NSF to provide a research grant of Rs 2 million towards this end.

A new phosphate company is to launched and it will commence operation soon to manufacture Single Super Phosphate. The floating of the company was delayed owing to the introduction of the new company law. The Cabinet has granted its approval to a memorandum submitted by Industrial Development Minister Kumara Welgama on the project proposal reports for the production of Single Super Phosphate (SSP).


http://www.sundaytimes.lk/070617/FinancialTimes/ft324.html
 

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LBO >> Commodities
Gents's Trade
23 June 2007 18:21:29
Sri Lanka tea trade urged to uphold ethical, professional standards


June 23 (LBO) – Two top Sri Lankan tea industry figures have urged the trade to make more efforts to maintain ethical and professional standards to avoid the danger of Ceylon tea earning a bad name.


The call was made at the 113th annual general meeting of the Colombo Tea Traders' Association (CTTA) on Thursday.

"Deteriorating standards had compelled the trade to tighten by-laws relating to tea auction procedures," CTTA chairman Tyeab Akbarally said.

Certain members of the trade were trying to resist the imposition of tougher rules and take advantage of their rivals, giving a bad name to what is considered a "gentlemen's trade", he said.

Tea Board Chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi, who was chief guest at the AGM, said the industry should not become complacent in its position as one of the world's top tea exporters.

Although the island's tea is renowned for its purity and quality, he noted that these are "relative terms".

Consumers were now demanding more and more stringent standards as they get better educated, Hettiarachchi said, adding that it was important to comply with new standards.

"The sooner we get into line, the better it is."

He called on all members of the trade to maintain high ethical and professional standards, saying "everybody should uphold business ethics."

The regulator expects the trade to confine tea sales to legal channels, not do illicit blending, adhere to ISO standards and only do healthy marketing and not undercut each other, Hettiarachchi said.

Nobody should engage in practices that tarnish "the good name we're jealously guarding."

He urged the members of the trade to work in a manner that would obviate the need for tougher rules.

"If the industry follows business ethics, there'll be no need for the Tea Board."

Hettiarachchi also said that the industry should try to cut costs and get a better price for its tea.

The selling price has remained at two dollars a kilo over the past two decades despite continuous increases in production costs driven by rising power and labour costs.


"Although prices have risen in the past two months we cannot be complacent," he said, noting that forecasts say prices would come down in the future.
 

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Did anyone know what happened to the Iron ore in badulla, that was $, someone can manufacture steel out of it! :bash:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wel what usually happens is some politican and locals complain that making steal is too expensive, dangerous ,hazardeous to the enviroment, someones dwellings and the local bird population so instead we export the ORE and BUY the steel, thus we loose out in the long run.
 

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Wel what usually happens is some politican and locals complain that making steal is too expensive, dangerous ,hazardeous to the enviroment, someones dwellings and the local bird population so instead we export the ORE and BUY the steel, thus we loose out in the long run.
Hmmmmm, too good, wot a bunch of moron!but I heard they nor gonna export them unless they manufacture locally:nuts:
 

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Sri Lankan gems and jewellery exports surge

Sri Lanka's earnings from value-added gem and jewellery exports are surging and the industry says business is booming so much that it is running out of space for its annual exhibition.
Export earnings through service gem cutting surged 36 percent to 279 million rupees in the first five months of 2007 compared with the same period last year.

Gem studded jewellery exports increased 31 percent to 824 million rupees in the same period.

“The noteworthy factor here is the progress made by the jewellery sector is highlighted by (this increase) which means the value addition in Sri Lanka is growing,” said the Senior Manager of Export and Export promotion of National Gem and Jewellery Authority Ajith Perera.

The forthcoming 'Facets' Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery exhibition should help to ‘spike up’ the exports, as it usually does.

This year's growth is on the back of what the gem and jewellery industry calls a record year in 2006.

Perera said the industry has started moving towards adding value locally with positive results.

“I am very happy to note in 2006 it was the record year of the gem and jewellery sector where we had 23 percent overall growth,” he said.

Last year the industry recovered from the downturn in 2005 and earned 4.49 billion rupees compared to 3.65 billion in 2005.

The organizers of Facets say that they are running out of room after moving into the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), one of the largest exhibition centres in the island.

This was because of the increasing number of exhibitors, drawn by the success of previous shows and the island's image as an exporter of quality stones.

“We moved out from Hilton Hotel to BMICH to facilitate more space and immediately the number of stalls went up to 150 and now again we have run out of space,” said the President of the Gem and Jewellery Association, Chanaka Ellawala.

“We also have to note that we can’t exhibit outside like the other exhibitors do since we are dealing with gems and jewellery.”

The number of foreign exhibitors has also increased this year. Facets 2007 will have 19 foreign exhibitors.

Amana Takaful will be providing a special insurance cover for the exhibitors from the point of embarking till the goods are taken back after the exhibition.

Sri Lanka’s industry is now improving in sectors such as gem cutting and mining.

“Our gem cutting has improved vastly over the years and though our mining is traditional, it is sophisticated,” Ellawala said.

“However, we are looking into improving the productivity of mining.” In terms of branding, the industry officials also said that the ‘Ceylon Sapphire’ brand is popular among high-end customers but a lot of work has to be done to add value.

“We have a brand out there but we need to add value to that brand. We are looking at registering a geographic locator for Ceylon sapphire and rolling out a brand promotion campaign,” said Ellawala.

The industry looks towards more international promotion of Facets Sri Lanka to gain more market share and revenue.

Facets Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery show will be held at the BMICH exhibition and convention centre from August 30 to September 02, 2007.
http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/fullstory.php?newsID=1272501637&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=17
 

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Does this article go here with R&D? Anyway...

Sri Lanka's government, private sector to set up nanotech park


Nano Tech July 20, 2007 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government's five-year project to develop a nanotechnology science park will help the country's main industrial sectors to compete with global players that already use the technology.

The 5-year 55 million dollar (5.5 billion rupee) project will be funded through a Public-Private Partnership in which both parties will contribute equal sums of money.

A 50-acre land has already been chosen for the park in Homagama, south of Colombo. Leading firms in the apparel, agriculture and other main industrial sectors have pledged support to develop the park, Tissa Vitharana, Minister of Science and Technology said.

A temporary laboratory is already being set up with the assistance of the private sector to conduct research, since waiting another five years will give foreign competitors more advantage over local products in the global market, he said.

"We need quick action before waiting another five years to fight foreign competition."

Vitharana said local materials such as silica sand and other minerals found in the island can be used to develop the technology.

"No matter how much infrastructure is developed and villages are provided new roads, industries that use local raw material must be developed. Only then would the country be developed," Vitharana told reporters.

Nanotechnology is a branch of science and engineering devoted to the design and production of extremely small electronic devices and circuits built from individual atoms and molecules.

Products such as apparel can be developed to have self-cleaning, colour-changing and wrinkle free properties.

Rubber items with higher strength that can withstand more strain or tyres that are not worn out easily can also be made using the technology.

It can also be used to make polymer-based lighting which is solid, does not use gas as in conventional bulbs and can be 30 percent more energy efficient.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) plans to work with local universities to create a task force to operate the technology park, Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), said Professor Ravi Silva, a nanotechnology expert, working in the University of Surrey, England.

The foundation also plans to conduct awareness campaigns and introduce nanotechnology topics in the universities.

Sirimali Fernando of NSF said the private sector has realized the hidden potential in research and development (R&D) and is now coming forward to fund and develop it. Sri Lanka's private sector was late in doing R&D since the country lacked a culture of research, Fernando said.

"It is good the private sector itself is asking for R&D facilities. They have found out its value."

Relatively new and fast spreading, nanotechnology is now used by countries like Japan, South Korea, and the United States as well as European states to develop innovative products that use less energy, are smaller and more efficient.

Apart from the technological advancement, entrepreneurship is also an important factor in taking nano science further into the industries sector, Silva said.

"We need to take the fear of failure out of people to be more entrepreneurial. Their knowledge must be increased (in the nano science sector)."

The nanotech business, estimated to be worth over one trillion dollars by 2010, can help resolve Sri Lanka's energy crisis, poverty, water, food, health and environmental issues, Silva said.

At present Sri Lanka allocates only 0.14 percent (40 million dollars) of its Gross Domestic Product of 28.02 billion dollars for technological research and development. In the United States, the federal government spends over one billion dollars and other sectors spend over three billion on research and development.

Silva said four-fifths of total wealth creation in America is through technology, research and development.

"If we can be on top rather than fall behind competition in the nanotechnology area, we can have an economic takeoff."

http://lbo.lk/fullstory.php?newsID=163797073&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=17
 
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