History of Pelwatte

In keeping with the declared aim of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to make the country self-sufficient in sugar, a World Bank study was undertaken in 1978 to identify areas in the Moneragala District of Sri Lanka which was considered to be suitable for rain-fed sugar cane cultivation.

Booker Tate Ltd - BTL (formerly known as Booker Agriculture International Ltd. - BAI) were invited to carry out a feasibility study and they conducted a comprehensive study within a year and submitted their report in 1980.The conclusion of the study was that a viable sugar estate could be established at Pelwatte under rain fed conditions. The proposal was accepted by GOSL

Accordingly Pelwatte Sugar Company Ltd was established in 1981. The first Board meeting of the newly formed Pelwatte Sugar Company was held on the 30th December 1981.BAI was appointed as corporate managers designate and began to implement the project in 1982.

The formal opening of the factory took place on 9th June 1986 by,His Excellency J.R. Jayewardene, the President of Sri Lanka.

A factory commissioning trial was successfully undertaken in March 1986 and commercial operations commenced on 2nd June 1986.

Pelwatte Sugar Industry was incorporated in Sri Lanka on 19th February 1981 as a private Company managed by Boorker Agriculture international Ltd. It was converted a Public Liability Company on 10th December, 1982 and quoted in the stock exchange in 1984. In 1990, the company has changed her name to Pelwatte Sugar Industries Ltd.

Subsequently the company has taken over by “Guang Dong” a Chinese company in 1994. Thereafter Government of Sri Lanka has taken over the management until 2002.A Sri Lankan company named Master divers (Pvt) Ltd has purchased 53.5% shareholding and taken over the management in year 2002. Master Divers Private Limited has sold approximately 47% of the issued capital to Melstacorp which is a subsidiary of Distillery Company of Sri Lanka PLC in year 2011 March.

With the purpose of analyzing the existing performances and the industrial attributes of the sugar industry towards economic development, the GOSL has appointed a cabinet subcommittee headed by the Hon. Minister of environment Anura Priyadarsana Yapa with Hon Ministers Dilan Perera, Reginold Cooray, Laxman Senavirathne, and deputy finance minister Geethanjana Gnawardaneas as other members. With deep consideration of economic value and existing performances of the industry, the committee has recommended taking the control back to the government.

As a result of that government has taken the control back under the revival of Underperforming enterprises or underutilized assets Act No.43 of 2011” on 11 November 2011. In this period the company has controlled under a competent authority who was the then Government Agent – Hambanthota.

Subsequently the authority has changed to the ministry of Productivity Promotion and the Secretary to the Ministry was appointed as the new competent authority in the same year. This tenure has extended up to 24th August 2012 until the incorporation of Lanka Sugar Company (Pvt) Ltd.