COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — China's Shandong Haohua Tire Co. Ltd. has signed an agreement with Sri Lanka's board of investment to locate its proposed tire plant in Hambantota, a city of about 50,000 on the island nation's southern coast.
Shandong Haohua, which goes to market under the Aplus, Compasal, Lanvigator and Royal Black brand names, disclosed plans in May to build the plant, with a budget of $200 million and an eventual annual capacity of 17 million radial car and 3 million radial truck tires.
Word of the deal was reported by Sri Lanka media and confirmed by sources in China, including a report by the Shandong Provincial Rubber Industry Association (SPRIA).
Hambantota is a port city that's being developed in large part by Chinese interests, according to various news reports and Sri Lankan and Chinese communiques.
In May, the company stated that it had earmarked $200 million for phase I of the project, to be built on a site on the coast of Sri Lanka, to the southeast of its capital Colombo.
The project was originally due to break ground earlier this year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company added. Construction of the project was scheduled to take 18 months.
Headquartered in Weifang, Shandong Province, Haohua is also increasing truck and bus tire capacity at its existing site in the city's Shouguang county.
Haohua Tire has three plants in China with an overall nameplate capacity of 5 million truck and bus tires and 20 million passenger car tires each year.
With 2019 global sales of $1.54 billion, Shandong Haohua Tire was ranked No. 22 on the Tire Business Global Top 75 tire makers' list this year.