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Valaichchenai Paper Factory recommences operations: Paper products hit the market

By Sarah Hannan

Sri Lanka’s oldest commissioned corporation, Eastern Paper Mills Corporation – colloquially known as Valaichchenai Paper Factory – released its first batch of paper products to the market on Monday (3).

The revival of this once abandoned factory commenced in February under the directives of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who instructed the portfolio Minister to look at the possibility of restarting operations at the paper mill.

Speaking to The Morning, National Paper Company Ltd. (NPCL) Chairman K.A.W. Rupasinghe noted: “The first batch of locally produced paper products were bought by the paper and board merchants of the Pettah Traders’ Association.

“In the months to come, we are looking at improving our products and once the factory is producing its full output, the country will be able to purchase products from 50 GSM paper that is used for newspaper prints, to 250 GSM boards that will be used for file covers and book covers.”

The mill operates under the purview of the NPCL and is considered to be the oldest industry in Sri Lanka. Since February, the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, and the retirees of the factory have been working efficiently to restore the basic functions of the mill.

At present, the mill uses waste paper to produce its paper and board products, and is awaiting the completion of the restoration of the balance machinery so it is able to produce all types of paper and boards. Rupasinghe reiterated that the factory will in future be able to supply 100% of the country’s paper and board requirements.