Leather complex planned

5 February 2001

A centralised leather complex with a modern effluent treatment plant is planned for Bata Atha in Ambalangoda, a district in the southern province of Sri Lanka. Work on the construction of a link road to the site commenced on December 30, 2000. The ministry of industrial development has obtained land and will support the development of infrastructure at the site as well as assisting in obtaining the necessary environmental clearances. The Norwegian government, through the United Nations Development Programme, haveprovided the funds for the construction of the $2 million effluent treatment plant. The project includes three main components: construction of the complex, the waste treatment facility and relocation of leather and tanning enterprises in Bata Atha. The modern treatment facility will service the entire project and will ensure that no harmful effluents will pollute the surroundings. The plant will have a capacity of 1,500 m3 per day. Unido is in charge of project implementation and the Vienna based Unido team have selected Tehprojekt of Croatia as the principal sub-contractor. The layout and design of the complex, which can accommodate 17 industrial units, has been completed. Transfer of the industrial units is expected to commence in December 2001. With centralisation of tanning activities the Sri Lankan leather industry is expected to expand and the required support services will also provide greater employment opportunities. The government plans to set up a site at an adjacent location to manufacture footwear and leathergoods which will further boost employment as well as enhance the viability of the leather complex. Management of the complex after start up will be the responsibility of the Sri Lanka Association of Tanners (Pvt) Ltd (SLAT) which is a representative body comprised of leading industrialists, officials of the export development board and of the Ministry of Industries.

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