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Tassie Demands $100m From Basslink For Cable Outage

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is demanding that Basslink – the company that operates the 370km undersea electricity and data cable that links Tasmania to the mainland – pay it $100 million in compensation for the six-month outage it experienced in late 2015-early 2016. Tasmanian Resources and Energy Minister Guy Barnett said the Government had “never accepted the original assertion that the cable outage in 2015 was the result of a ’cause unknown’ “.

A Basslink-commissioned investigation into the fault by subsea cable experts Cable Consulting International came back with a finding of “cause unknown”.

But a second investigation – by power generator Hydro Tasmania – later claimed that Basslink had operated the cable in a way that exceeded its design limit.

Barnett has said Tasmania’s solicitor-general will initiate the dispute this week unless Basslink agrees to compensate the Government for its losses. ”

Basslink maintains the cable failure was a “force majeure” event which, if accepted, means it was beyond its control – something like an “act of God”– and it would not need to provide Tasmania with compensation.

“Basslink denies that it is liable for any such losses. Should the State take these allegations further, Basslink will vigorously defend any legal action,” it has said.

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