At present there are no imports of crystal salt or free flow table salt except for Pure Vacuum Dried (PVD) salt. The PVD process uses vacuum evaporation technology which ensures pure sodium chloride free from any impurities and consistent quality, despite the condition of raw salt input, he said.
The company will invest Rs. 150 million this year to expand the PVD salt production facility in Puttalam.
“We hope to manufacture around 10,000 MT of PVD salt a year. A substantial amount of PVD salt is yet being imported for high end markets. Production is inadequate to meet the national need.
The production of PVD salt needs high technology. We have already invested Rs.100 million on the PVD plant,” Dr. Liyanage said.
The country’s salt needs in 2007 was 135,000 metric tons for consumption and 20,000 metric tons for industrial use. Of this quantity imported salt was 45,000 metric tons including 30,000 metric tons in crystal form and the remaining 15,000 metric tons in the free flow table salt form.
The annual demand for salt has gone up annually and in 2013 it was 150,000 metric tons for consumption and 25,000 metric tons for direct industrial use.
“After seeing the market switching from crystal salt to free flow table salt, Raigam Wayamba Salterns invested in free flow table salt plants, first in Palavi, then Puttalam and later in Bata Atha, Tangalle,” Dr. Liyanage said.