Generating Power across Oceans
St. Theresa Industries, Sri Lanka was founded by the current chairman of St. Theresa Industries Mr. Collin Fernando together with his father, at his house in 1973. Initially a light engineering manufacturing company, it supplied various electricity utility items such as hardware fittings, bolts and nuts and light hardware utility items to hotels and other businesses. In 1988 the business was moved to the location of the current manufacturing facility, a 3-acre land in Sapugaskanda. Almost half a century since its inception, today the company has several companies under STI Holdings and manufactures a range of products for the global power and energy sector and provides several highly specialized engineering services to clients both in and outside the country. A family run business in its truest sense, today the company is spearheaded by the second generation, Mr. Madushanka Fernando; a mechanical engineer, and the current CEO of the company, together with his brothers; the current COO and the CFO of the company, who are taking St. Theresa Industries to new heights in the ever dynamic and ever evolving industry of energy and power generation.
The year 2012, marked a pivotal juncture to St. Theresa Industries, as the company procured the first ever state of the art transmission tower line machine to be owned by a privately owned company in Sri Lanka. Hereon St. Theresa Industries began manufacturing heavy engineering items such as transmission towers, distribution towers and telecommunication towers which at the time were supplied to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company (LECO). The logistical challenges resulted by the Covid-19 pandemic created new prospects for many local manufacturers. Among these were St. Theresa Industries, who succeeded in becoming a supplier to the telecommunication sector, one which had been serviced by BOI companies who had imported the necessary components for years. Today the company not only supplies local Telco service providers but also exports their solutions to international markets.
Having developed expertise in the Sri Lankan electricity distribution market, which had become saturated by 2014, the Fernando brothers ventured into Africa in search of better prospects. As a result, in 2015 St. Theresa Industries began supplying locally manufactured products and solutions to Kenya including transmission and distribution towers to Kenya Power and Lighting Company. Subsequently, a second under the name St. Theresa Industries, Kenya was incorporated in Kenya, staffed by both Sri Lankan and Kenyan nationals. 8 years later, St. Theresa Industries - Kenya has the resources and the capacity to lend assistance even to the Sri Lankan operation where required.
In 2019, a third company, St. Theresa Industries – Projects, was formed to undertake turnkey contracts in construction, erection, and swinging of transmission and distribution towers and has formed joint ventures with partners in China and USA to carry out large scale turnkey projects in Sri Lanka. Currently the company together with the CEB, works on a STI turnkey project valued at USD 42 million with its Chinese joint venture Hui Jin Tong (HJT); a listed company based in Shanghai, with which the company had partnered in 2019. Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), this project was successfully continued despite the many challenges faced by the sector during the pandemic. The JV with HJT, and the expertise the company holds in the field of project management along with their skilled talent, has enabled St. Theresa Industries – Projects to enter other Asian markets for similar consultancies. This year the company will undertake multiple turnkey projects in Africa under the partnership with HJT. In addition to this, the company engages in various project management, engineering and civil and structural design projects in the African and Asian markets and continues to grow along with its staff consisting of engineers, technicians, and professionals of the highest calibre.
In 2020 the company signed a contract for the license to manufacture a pilling technology system from the USA, a technology that was only being used in the USA and the South American regions at the time and was yet to be introduced to Asia. The system, tested in Sri Lanka for the first time in Asia presented impressive results paving way for establishing a manufacturing plant in the region which St. Theresa Industries secured for themselves. The company now manufactures and exports this product to several countries including Kenya, India, New Zealand, and Australia while being the sole supplier for several state sector projects inside the country. In 2022 St. Theresa Group incorporated a new company specializing in engineering expertise, project management and design expertise to explore opportunities in Africa and Asian countries. In 2025 the group expects to venture into the USA Robotics and AI industry.
Quality and standards for safety and sustainability play a key role in the operational process of all companies under St. Theresa Industries. Currently St. Theresa Industries holds ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001: 2015 Environment Management System and ISO 45001: 2018 Occupational Health and Safety quality standards and is accredited by the KEBS (Kenya Bureau of Standards) and has been awarded the Diamond Mark of Quality by the KEBS. In addition to these, the group adheres to stringent quality standards particular to region, and industry of the various global markets they serve. The production process is also customized to suit the customer’s specifications in such events.
Lighting People’s Lives: the motto of St. Theresa industries rings true today than it did ever before. Since its inception, the employ cadre of the company has grown from between thirty to fifty employees to five hundred that champions the mission of St. Theresa Industries every day, from Sri Lanka and Kenya. The company has always endowed great importance to the welfare of its employees and has more so during the unprecedented hardships that were faced by the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. St. Theresa Industries has also played an admirable role as a responsible corporate citizen, with various contributions to the community and the conscious efforts towards conserving the environment. Assistance towards building training centres for financially challenged students, renovating hospitals in various parts of the island, distributing dry rations during the pandemic, and helping many churches and temples in various manner are few of the CSR activities the company has carried in the recent past. Conscious of its carbon footprint, St. Theresa Industries has taken several measures to reduce its impact on the environment such as building two megawatt solar projects each spreading over five acres and building a 100-kilowatt solar power plant to power the manufacturing facility. The company does not encourage the use of fossil fuel or high value and high energy purchases and instead advocates for renewable energy. St. Theresa Industries also carries out projects in Kenya enhance the living conditions of the African region.
St. Theresa Industries has witnessed a gradual yet impressive expansion in the products, services, and markets during their fifty years of operations. From manufacturing electricity utility supplies to transmission and distribution towers, telecommunication towers, helical anchors, bolts and nuts of special grades, steel bridges and steel building solutions and consulting on engineering and design to international markets, the group has evolved to be a multinational entity that hopes to be a globally renowned listed company by 2030. The company believes that its biggest strength lies in its people, the professionals who augment the value of the products and services with their expertise and talent. In addition to being home to some of the most talented professionals in the industry, the unique location of the country making it one of the most conveniently accessibly destinations in the world, St. Theresa Industries believes that this sector holds the potential to be one of the largest forex generators for Sri Lanka in future. Towards this endeavour, while crediting the contributions made by the Export Development Board (EDB) for the Sri Lankan Export Sector, St. Theresa Industries believes that in its capacity as a state agency staffed by some of the most helpful and qualified experts, who works with businessmen, professionals, and entrepreneurs on their export journey, the EDB holds great potential to help Sri Lanka achieve her full potential as an export destination.