Oct 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Board of Investment enterprise, AmSafe Bridport (Pvt) Ltd, a leading manufacturer of cargo restraint and protection systems for aviation and defense, has opened a new factory in Sri Lanka with an investment of US$ 2.3 million.
The investment promotion agency in a statement said the new factory established in the third phase of its Wathupitiwala Export Processing Zone, creates new production and employment opportunities.
The UK-based American firm Amsafe Bridport (Pvt) Ltd in Wathupitiwala was initially named Bridport Aviation. The company was established by Director of AmSafe Bridport Ian Kentfield in November 2001.
Jason Abbott, President of AmSafe Bridport formally opened the new factory with the participation of members of the AmSafe Bridport Board and senior officials of the Board of Investment. Ms. Chandani Ekanayake, General Manager of AmSafe Bridport's operations in Sri Lanka briefed those present on the new development.
"The recent expansion reflects our company's continual growth. We started with 35,000 square feet of space dedicated to production and later added another 75,000 square feet. Currently we have staff strength of 550 employees. This recent addition of 55,000 square feet will set the stage for even more production and therefore employment, by AmSafe Bridport."
Speaking of the Company's innovative and niche products, Ms. Ekanayake said over the years AmSafe Bridport (Pvt) Ltd has considerably expanded and diversified the range of the products manufactured by the company.
"We began with cargo pallet net sub-assemblies but are now the world leader in this product, with most international airlines being our clients. We now dominate the manufacture and supply of cargo pallet nets and tie down straps."
"We have now embarked in producing more complex products, many which have been developed in Sri Lanka. These include a fire containment cover that can withstand 815 °C of heat," she added.
Other novel products the company manufactures include the fire proof barriers and 9g barrier nets that are made for the Airbus A400 Military transport aircraft and the B767 tanker aircraft used by the US Air Force. AmSafe Bridport (Pvt) Ltd has also started manufacturing non steerable troop parachutes.
"We have also at different stages made camouflage nets and protection nets against rocket propelled grenades. Naturally these are products made to meet very high standards of manufacture," Ekanayake said.
Jason Abbott, President of AmSafe Bridport (Pvt) Ltd also spoke of AmSafe Bridport's highly trained human resources.
"I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the efforts of the dedicated and committed workforce in our plant in Sri Lanka. Your work ethic is amazing. In fact 75% of everything which our company does comes out of here. I wish to add that the dedicated team is the reason why we continue to invest here. A company is only as good as its employees."
"This new facility was due to be opened in May but due to the tragic recent events we changed the date. This is a US$ 2.3 million investment in Sri Lanka. We opened this facility as part of our commitment to continue our investment and growth in Sri Lanka. I wish to thank the BOI for its continued support. We will continue to invest in this country. Thank you for making this company what it is today," Abbot said.