Revival of Embilipitiya Paper Mills under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between National Paper Company Limited and KSPA Packaging Pvt Ltd.
Embilipitiya Paper Mills, the second oldest paper mill in the country was first set up in 1978. A once thriving organization that pumped many hopes into the national economy as well as to thousands of families in the Sabaragamuwa province in its good olden days came to a standstill when the operations were seized in 2003.
Though it resumed operations in 2011, it became a very short stint as the paper mill was closed again in 2012. With a management contract coming into effect in 2011, it was expected to produce 250 metric tons of paper per day and to roar the past glory of the paper mill. Unfortunately, what really happened was, the Embilipitiya paper mill was liquidated. The private party to the management contract has sold some of the machinery parts and obtained loans by mortgaging the machinery to a private bank and finally fled the country. It left Embilipitiya paper mill at the worst of its devastation.
Four years ago, this national asset was up for sale and this is when Mr. Anurath Abeyratne heard about the tender process from the bank. He settled the loan and freed the paper mill from the bank in 2018 but, there were many more hurdles to overcome. The land where the paper mill is located was under Mahaweli Authority and a clearance from the Mahaweli Authority was needed. Despite many challenges, Mr. Abeyratne never gave up on the paper mill and the need to resume operations.
Breathing new hope of life into the Embilipitiya paper mill, the government officials cleared the legal transfer of the land from Mahaweli Authority to the National Paper Company Limited (NPCL) and paved the way for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to resurrect this giant corporation. KSPA Private Limited led by Mr. Abeyratne signed the PPP agreement on 9th March 2022 making it a backward integration, to manufacture paper for the corrugated industry.
Revival of this defunct, but entity of national interest is on the horizon for KSPA Embilipitiya Paper Mills Private Limited. Mr. Abeyratne spelled out his vision and commitment towards bringing the paper mill to its full functionality by 2023.