Business Times

New Galle Face hotel developers face location approval hurdle

Hong Kong and Chinese investors of two star-class hotels to be built on the area around the Galle Face Green face another hurdle of getting location approval as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has not been carried out as yet, official sources said.

The two companies must submit their architectural plans and other details of sewerage systems to the Board of Investment (BOI) to enable them to carry out the EIA. In terms of the National Environmental Act, the industries which discharge, deposit or emit waste into the environment should obtain an Environmental Protection Licence (EPL).

For granting of location approval and issuing of EPL for projects within the Export Promotion Zones of BOI, the Board is empowered to enforce the provisions of the National Environmental Act. For enterprises located outside the zones, granting of location approval and issuing of EPL are carried out by the BOI with concurrence from the Central Environmental Authority.

The required confirmation is obtained by the BOI on behalf of the investor and the investor deals only with the BOI, a senior official of the BOI said. Both companies, Shangri-La Asia Ltd and China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) have still not applied for location approval, CEA and BOI sources confirmed.

Shangri-La agreed to invest US $500 million for two hotel projects, one in Galle Face and the other one in Hambantota. The company has purchased the six acre Galle Face property at a price of US$ 76 million. CATIC has agreed to pay US$ 125 million for the adjoining block of land, official sources said.

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