ROVERETO, Italy (July 7, 2016) — Marangoni S.p.A. has dismissed media reports suggesting that it plans to build a $75 million tire plant in Sri Lanka, insisting instead that its involvement will be “indirect.”
The Sri Lankan government approved a proposal on June 15 to establish a 3 million-unit/year tire plant at Gonapola, in the country's Horana district. At that time, Invest Sri Lanka — a privately held business development company — published a document identifying Marangoni as the party behind the project.
In a statement provided to European Rubber Journal (ERJ), the Rovereto-based company said that local news report referred to a “hypotethical transfer of technology to a Sri Lanka-based investor — Ceylon Steel Corp. — discussed as part of a possible joint venture in the passenger car tire sector.”
Marangoni explained that after it suspended passenger tire production in Europe in 2013, the company began talks to sell its “production plants” to Ceylon Steel Corp.
The company's passenger tire production was based at its plant in Anagni, Italy, which was closed in 2013.
“The discussed possible joint venture has been based upon the transfer of Anagni equipment and technology,” Marangoni said.
The company also confirmed that the Anagni plant had a capacity of 3 million units a year.
Separately from this investment, Marangoni has been operating its own industrial tire facilities in Sri Lanka since 2008.
The Italian company has confirmed to ERJ that industrial tires are not being discussed with their Sri Lankan partners.
Sri Lanka has an annual income of roughly $470 million from the export of pneumatic and retreaded rubber tires and tubes. The figure is nearly 62 percent of the total rubber exports of Sri Lanka.
This report first appeared in European Rubber Journal, a London-based sister publication of Tire Business.