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Sri Lanka’s ceramic industry is to introduce Nano technology for the first time and has commenced initiatives to develop Nano-engineered material into its production process, which is expected to cut down production cost drastically, industry officials said.

The initial discussions pertaining to the shift towards Nano engineered materials has commenced between Sri Lanka’s leading ceramic manufacturer, Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC and Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), according to high ranking officials.

The announcement was initially made by the Chairman of Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, Rajan Asirwatham in his message to the shareholders of the company in its latest annual report for 2014. Asirwatham mentioned that the group was engaged with a ‘leading science and research institution to develop Nano engineered materials which will lead to much higher value added porcelain products being manufactured by the company in the future’.

Experts in the industry while welcoming the move stated that it would help cut down production costs especially energy consumption to a great extent owing to the comparatively lower temperature needed to heat the ceramic products.

Chief Executive Office of Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC, Wassapa Jayasekara speaking to The Nation Gain said that the shift would benefit the consumer where the temperature of the food or drink item that is contained in the ceramic product would be retained for longer period of time than in the normal ceramic utensils.

In addition, the technology would result in a smoother surface where even longstanding and tough stains could be easily cleaned. SLINTEC while confirming the ongoing discussions with Dankotuwa PLC on working on introducing Nano engineered materials, declined to provide further information on the issue.

However, no decisions have been finalized pertaining to the investment and the commencement of the project had been made yet, Jayasekara said. “Right now, the discussions are at the very initial stages and no decision of any significance has been made,” he said.

Jayasekara stated that the project would require an amount of at least Rs.5 million for a start. “We cannot say for certain since we have not finalized on anything yet,” he added.

Experts in the industry stated that the introduction of Nano technology to the ceramic industry would prove cost-effective for producers, despite the heavy investment that is needed.

Jayasekara further said that they were also looking at getting down new kilns that would use energy economically. “We are looking at that aspect as well. We will do that once we get the financial aspects sorted,” he added.