Business and Economics
Distilleries’ Acquisition of Heineken Lanka May Challenge Lion Brewery Share

Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC (AAA(lka)/Stable), the leader in Sri Lanka’s beer market, could face more competition in the medium term following Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC’s (DIST; AAA(lka)/Stable) decision to acquire beer producer Heineken Lanka Limited, Fitch Ratings says. Heineken is a distant second in Sri Lanka’s beer market for now, but we believe DIST has the industry know-how, market access and financial strength to elevate Heineken’s operations to a level that could weigh on Lion’s market share. We believe a large capacity expansion at Heineken Lanka would be required to compete effectively with Lion. We estimate the expansion will require significant capital outlay and at least two-to-three years to complete. We believe DIST has the financial strength to fund the expansion, with its annual free cash flow, excluding dividends, averaging LKR10 billion-12 billion. DIST, as the largest spirits manufacturer in the country, already has extensive market access covering all forms of retail channels, providing easy market penetration compared with a new entrant.

LAUGFS Gas Celebrates 22 Years of Excellence in LPG Solutions

LAUGFS Gas PLC, a leading energy solutions provider, and a pioneering force in Sri Lanka's LPG industry, marked its 22nd anniversary with a grand celebration at its Biyagama, Mabima filling facility. The event further affirmed the company’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology and delivering value-added services to customers and celebrated the continual improvement of customer service standards across various market touchpoints.

The event welcomed the entire LAUGFS Gas staff, as well as the Group Chairman - Mr. W.K.H Wegapitiya, Group Deputy Chairman - Mr. U.K. Thilak De Silva, Cluster CEO - Dr. Niroshan J Peiris, and CEO - Mr. Nalinda Kurukulasooriya and chief guests.

Sri Lanka’s 1.2 million ‘Tuks’ to undergo ‘e-Wheel’ Revolution

A clean and affordable transportation solution is now available for Sri Lanka’s 1.2 million three wheelers with Lanka E-Mobility Solutions (Private) Limited (LeMS), introducing electric three wheel battery swapping technology, branded ‘e-wheel’ to local owners!

The launch of this novel battery swapping technology means the three-wheeler owner no longer has to purchase a costly battery, or worry about end-of-life replacement,  while the battery swapping process takes a mere two minutes!  The most expensive component in any electric vehicle is the battery and when converting a petrol three-wheeler to an e-wheeler, the owner does not need to pay for the batteries as they are owned and managed by LeMS, as are the Swapping Stations. The e-wheeler owner only pays for the energy used on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis.

This marks a significant milestone in Sri Lanka's journey towards sustainable transportation, with its founders being driven by the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and combat harmful air pollution.   “Sri Lanka’s 1.2 million three wheelers currently guzzle a staggering 5.5 million liters of petrol a day and each ‘e-wheel’ will help reduce that figure.  The e-wheel driver, often the breadwinner of the family, with a mere Rs 450,000 investment, can now save nearly Rs 20,000 per month”, said Managing Director of LeMS, Chaminda Rajapakse. “The advantages are prodigious, with savings on valuable FOREX spent on fuel imports, lubricants, and routine maintenance spare parts”.

LeMS was conceived in 2020 and incubated by Island Climate Initiative (ICI) over the last 2 years. ICI facilitates investment in circular economy, smart agriculture, and clean energy projects, and is dedicated to revolutionizing Sri Lanka’s transport industry with cutting-edge electric technology.

“We take existing petrol three wheelers, remove their engine and replace it with a brand-new electric powertrain. The entire conversion process takes just two hours. Once converted, the vehicle can immediately start using our battery swapping services”, said LeMS Co-Founder & Director, Shirendra Lawrence.