INSEE Cement’s Ruhunu cement plant celebrates 50 years
July 15, 2017- Today, INSEE Cement’s Ruhunu Cement Plant in Galle is celebrating half a century of enriching the construction sector in Sri Lanka. From a history that commenced as a State-owned enterprise, Ruhunu Cement Plant has today emerged as an important strategic player contributing to INSEE Cement’s role as the largest manufacturer of cement in the country.
The plant dates back to the time when Galle’s well-known legislator, the late Dr. Wijayananda Dahanayake, saw his dream to have a large-scale manufacturing plant set up in Galle. At its inception, the Ruhunu Cement Plant distributed cement only to State-Owned Enterprises.
Ruhunu Cement Plant was set up under the Factories Act of Parliament in 1954. Back then, clinker was brought to the plant in smaller quantities by train and the Ruhunu Cement Plant was the sole manufacturing plant in the southern area in Sri Lanka. Today, owned by INSEE Cement, also known as Siam City Cement (Lanka) Ltd., Ruhunu Cement Plant aims at achieving zero harm in operations for employees, contractors, suppliers, customers, visitors and the local community, and is compliant with environmental standards in the cement industry.
Plant Manager Pradeep Dissanayake elaborated: “We at Ruhunu Cement Plant are proud to be a part of the INSEE Cement family. We are the manufacturer of our premium brands ‘Sanstha’ and ‘Mahaweli Marine’ that have the highest market share and largest customer-base in the cement industry in the Southern Province.”
He added: “We are proud to be the premier cement supplier for country’s major development projects, such as, the building of highways, ports, airports, dams, bridges, and high-rise buildings. Our business at Ruhunu Cement Plant impacts the over 10,000 stakeholders both directly and indirectly, in and around where we do business. The quality of our cement is a high priority, ensuring strict compliance with the local and British standards; quality control and quality assurance is instrumental in our cement manufacturing process. We believe in supporting the local community and employees by ensuring an environmentally-sound workplace for all.
“The majority of the Ruhunu Cement Plant employees are from in and around Galle. The company is pleased to play a vital role in enriching the livelihoods of the community by engaging in many community development activities, such as building of preschools, supporting irrigation, building of sanitation facilities and housing for the needy.”
INSEE Cement strongly believes in developing the potential of its people to the maximum and this is evident by what the employees of Ruhunu Cement Plant had to say.
Production Manager Pradeep Nirosha said: “When I joined Ruhunu Cement Plant, it was my first job and it has helped me to harness my skills in advanced systems and processes and given me the appropriate exposure that I needed to enhance my career. Most importantly, the valuable exposure I have gained in addition to INSEE Cement’s multinational culture, offering the world’s best standards has made a big difference to my career opportunities.”
Apart from developing people, Ruhunu Cement Plant has become an inspiration for people in the south who take pride in the facility that boosts the country’s economy.
Ruhunu Cement Plant Artisan L. M. Ranjith said: “I am lucky to be employed at the plant. The job satisfaction is very high as the organisation utilises individuals’ idea generation and always encourages innovation. The company is more sensitive in providing the most attractive facilities uplifting employee’s life standards. The exposure to its well-formulated, environmentally-friendly working culture adds value to me and my family to be far ahead with my other companions in the community and makes me feel I’m well secured in life.”
Ruhunu Cement Plant Superintendent Nalin Senaka believes that concepts introduced at Ruhunu Cement Plant, such as driving innovation, enhanced employee benefits, technological improvements and a greater focus on improving systems, have helped the company reach higher goals. He is of the opinion that working with cement under safe conditions does not cause any harmful effects to the workers who are engaged with it one-to-one.
While being thankful to the management for giving priority to worker safety and wellbeing, he believes that Ruhunu Cement Plant has played a major role in harnessing the economy of Galle in the Southern Province. “I would like to see INSEE Cement take Ruhunu Cement Plant forward on a course of success in the next 50 years,” he added.
Not only the currently working staff, but the retired staff also had their chance of reminiscing about the proud heritage of Ruhunu Cement Plant.
K.R. Piyasena De Silva started working at the Ruhunu Cement Plant in 1971. Currently retired, De Silva remembers the factory coming up as a schoolboy. “I have been able to learn a lot in here, having served under many efficient managers; I consider it an experience of a lifetime.”
He added that the worker welfare measures have been enhanced considerably over the years. “Facilities such as meals and educational support for the children of employees, have added tremendous value to the welfare of the employees.”
He recalled the time when cement was issued on permit. The Ruhunu Cement Plant and all of the employees who have served for a long time have formed long-lasting relationships within the company, he reiterated.
Achieving many vital milestones and nostalgic experiences, Ruhunu Cement Plant indeed has a historic presence in the hearts and minds of its employees – sharing value within the INSEE family in building brighter futures for the nation.
INSEE Cement or Siam City Cement (Lanka) Ltd., is a member of the Siam City Cement Public Company Ltd. (SCCC), a leading cement manufacturer in Southeast Asia, founded in 1969 in Thailand. The company, INSEE Cement, manufactures INSEE-branded Sanstha, Mahaweli Marine, Mahaweli Marine Plus, INSEE Rapid Flow, INSEE Rapid Flow Plus and INSEE Extra cement.
INSEE Cement is the first certified ‘Green Cement’ product in Sri Lanka with the Green Labelling certification awarded by the Green Building Council. The company is the only fully-integrated cement manufacturer in Sri Lanka.