Sri Lanka plant failed after overuse, says Chinese firm

Updated 23 August 2012
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Sri Lanka plant failed after overuse, says Chinese firm

COLOMBO: A Chinese firm which designed Sri Lanka’s only coal power plant said recent repeated failures were due to over-utilization of the plant without annual maintenance, after an extended drought reduced 85 percent of the country’s hydro power generation.
Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on Aug. 13 extended nation-wide daily power cuts by two weeks, due to repeated problems at the plant in Norochcholai which knocked out almost a fifth of the island’s generating capacity.
“The Norochcholai coal power plant was forced to work beyond its required limits and keep supplying electricity to the whole country,” Zhao Wenxue, deputy chief engineer of Northwest Electric Power Design Institute, designer of the plant, said in a statement.
Sri Lanka imposed power cuts in July for the first time since 2001 after the plant failed for a fifth time since it was commissioned in March last year.
The 300 megawatt (MW) plant was repaired but another technical failure forced the utility to again turn off electricity for two hours and 15 minutes daily.
The CEB has criticized the plant’s record and said it had not been performing up to the expected level.
China loaned $450 million for the first phase of the plant and another $891 million for the second phase, which is due to be completed by July 2014 when the plant is expected to generate 900 MW.
Sri Lanka has long maintained uninterrupted power supplies, one of its main pledges to voters and investors, except in 1996 and 2001/2 when it endured power cuts due to severe droughts.
The country has total electricity generating capacity of 3.1 GW, but hydro power’s normal output of 1.2 GW has been cut by more than 1 GW due to drought.


EU gives Nestle a thumbs down in Kit Kat finger row

Updated 19 April 2018
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EU gives Nestle a thumbs down in Kit Kat finger row

  • Nestle has been locked in a decade-long battle with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit, which was first sold in 1935.
  • The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the “three-dimensional shape of the ‘Kit Kat 4 fingers’ product.”

Luxembourg: The European Union’s top court should cancel Swiss food giant Nestle’s trademark for the shape of the Kit Kat chocolate bar, the court’s top adviser said Thursday.
Nestle has been locked in a decade-long battle with US rival Mondelez, maker of Cadbury chocolate, over the four-fingered wafer biscuit, which was first sold in 1935.
The EU’s intellectual property office allowed Nestle in 2006 to trademark what the court calls the “three-dimensional shape of the ‘Kit Kat 4 fingers’ product.”
Advocate General Melchior Wathelet said the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should dismiss an appeal by Nestle against a lower court’s 2016 decision to annul the trademark.
“Nestle did not adduce sufficient evidence to show that its trademark had acquired distinctive character,” Wathelet said.
He said the intellectual property office should now “re-examine” its decision.
The Luxembourg-based ECJ often, but not always, follows the advice of the advocate general, its senior legal adviser, when making its final judgment.
The food giant specifically failed to show that the Kit Kat shape was well enough known in Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, relying instead on market data from other countries, he said.
The official also said the EU court should reject an appeal by Mondelez against part of the judgment, saying it was “manifestly inadmissible.”
Nestle has already lost a legal bid in Britain — currently an EU member state but set to leave next year — to trademark the Kit Kat shape.