Walker Construction

By Feizal Sameth

Colombo, Nov 20 (Bernama) — A top Malaysian conglomerate involved in construction and infrastructure development which has taken a majority stake in a Sri Lankan company is stepping up work on road development and housing projects here.

MTD Capital Bhd recently bought out Kapila Heavy Equipment Plc and last week renamed the Colombo firm as MTD Walkers Plc.

It is the company’s third subsidiary in Sri Lanka, after MTD CML Construction Ltd and MTD Construction Ceylon Pvt Ltd which handle housing and road development. MTD Walkers will tackle engineering tasks.

MTD group managing director Datuk Azmil Khalid told shareholders of MTD Walkers at an extraordinary general meeting here last week that it has submitted bids under the guidance of the Malaysian government to undertake construction of the Colombo-Kandy Alternate Highway and the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway.

Both are proposed major arteries running out of Colombo to key cities as well as the international airport complex.

He said construction of 25,000 housing units is being carried out by MTD CML at an investment cost of over 2.7 billion rupees (RM81.6 million).

In addition, MTD Walkers is marketing automated tea rollers locally and abroad in India, Africa and elsewhere. These are technically advanced machines optimising efficiency and enhancing greater profitability with minimum labour costs, he said.

MTD Capital acquired 90 percent of Kapila Heavy and also took over its management in June this year and is restructuring it.

Plans are underway to rebuild the group’s new head office in Colombo while improving the working environment of its workshops and branches at Ratnapura, Bandarawela and Galle, all outside Colombo, Azmil said.

The former Kapila Heavy has prime property in Colombo worth millions of rupees, the biggest asset of the company.

H. Channa Caldera, director of the renamed company, said it is actively pursuing infrastructure projects such as the petroleum oil storage tank for the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation as well as projects for the Sri Jayawardanepura-Kotte Municipal Council, Sri Lanka Telecom and the Dialog Telekom head office expansion.

He added that the group is also involved in local infrastructure and other development work for the Ministry of Irrigation and the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka as well as the construction of a steel bridge at Arugam Bay in the Eastern Province Femcare shipping .

Walkers was one of the well-known British companies in Sri Lanka. It was sold to an Indian company, Bolts, and Hapila Heavy bought it 15 years ago.

Azmil told the meeting that the company had incurred heavy losses and the new management is in the process of cleaning the balance sheet and generating business.



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