* BOI approved factories going green, says Chairman
Sri Lanka’s Timex and Fergasam Group (T&FG), a manufacturer and exporter of high quality garments is ready to commence the construction of twin apparel factories in Mannar Industrial Zone approved by Board of Investment (BOI) end of June 2012. This proposed US$ 5 million worth factory, a first in the Mannar region, will be ready for commercial operations by January 2013 and would provide over 1,200 employment opportunities for the people in the area, the BOI said in statement yesterday (19).
The group is now mainly focused on going green due to the increasing concerns about environmental impactfrom industries, particularly global warming. Keeping with the principals of minimizing environmental impact, the new building factory premises will incorporate a number of measures to reduce energy consumption and water usage. The cuts in energy use are also expected to directly benefit the company by reducing electricity costs. According to the BOI, the company is planning to install Solar PV system and Net Metering system to the factories where the excess energy will be added to the national grid.
Chairman of the BOI M. M. C. Ferdinando said, "Environmental factors are an important variable which international investors take into consideration when making their choices. Sri Lanka has the advantage of having high environmental standards. Already a number of companies that operate under the BOI regime have taken the lead by setting up green factories."
The new building factory will utilize energy efficient modern computerized machineries, fuel efficient boilers and air compressors to minimize the environmental impact. "We will install the latest energy efficient air conditioning systemin the two new building factories where the cost saving will be one fourth the cost of electricity for air conditioning. This will have less strain on the national grid as well. We will reduce water consumption by using water efficient features such as flush waves, water efficient fixturesand storm water management system to get water for factory use," said a spokesman for the company quoted by the BOI. Accordingly these energy conservation measures will reduce the carbon footprint by a substantial amount.
Mannar is considered as the driest area in the country with a high level of sunlight available throughout the year. Considering this factor T&FG is planning to use natural light to lighten the building. Moreover solar energy and energy saving lamps will be used instead of conventional lighting system.
The construction of the project is totally eco-friendly where all the existing greeneries at the site will be relocated. Also the factory will be consisted of waste recycle plant where the plant strives toward zero waste inlandfills.The group is also planning to develop a wind power project in the Mannar Island. This project will bring social and economic benefits to the Mannar district as well as to the country.
In addition to the energy saving environmental friendly projects, the factory will also consist of facility building which hasthe latest sanitary facilities, meeting areas, cafeteria, training school, lockers for employees, medical centre and the factory premises will be in compliance with all relevant fire and safety requirements. The building will be designed for efficient production, a comfortable atmosphere, and low energy consumption with adequate circulation paths and barrier-free accessibility throughoutthe building.With this upcoming factory premises employee conditions and living standards in the Mannar district will also improve over time.
The upcoming factories will be the 18th and 19th manufacturing facilities to be set up by the apparel group. Timex & Fergasam currently employs more than 10,000 across its 17 manufacturing facilities with offices in UK and Hong Kong. The group has been in operation since 1976, producing high fashion garments to the leading markets in the EU and the USA.