Basslink Subsea Cable Out Until Late May
By Corinne Reichert, ZDNet
April 10, 2018
Basslink has announced that its subsea cable will be down until late May, with the return-to-service date delayed from April 14 following third-party damage to the system.
“We have repaired a high-pressure system within a piece of equipment at the Victorian converter station. To return the interconnector to service, we require specialised expertise and equipment to be brought in to re-pressurise this equipment,” Basslink explained.
“It is a highly technical exercise. The equipment was damaged by a third-party contractor during routine works. There is no damage to the cable itself.”
According to Basslink, it has “worked around the clock” with its manufacturing partners over the last week to formulate a repair and re-pressurisation process, as well as finding experts and equipment and working on logistics for carrying out the procedure.
“The Basslink team is looking at every possible opportunity to expedite the return-to-service date,” the company said in a statement.
Basslink had last month announced that it would be undertaking repairs on a piece of equipment on the submarine cable, which it said was damaged by a third party “during the routine maintenance at a transition station in Victoria”.
“Given the damaged equipment is unique, it will require appropriate expertise and equipment from overseas for repair before the interconnector can recommence operations,” Basslink said at the time.
The outage has only affected the supply of energy, with the Basslink Interconnector continuing to provide wholesale broadband services to retailers. The incident is also unrelated to its ongoing dispute with Tasmania over the December 2015 outage.
The Tasmanian government last month said it would be seeking AU$122 million in compensatory damages from Basslink under a notice of dispute it lodged following a months-long telecommunications and energy subsea cable outage.
Basslink refuted claims by the state government that it breached the Basslink Operations Agreement (BOA) contract it has as the operator of the submarine cable, saying it “strongly denies the allegations” set out in the notice of dispute.