Monday, 03 December 2018 07:29

Basslink says new report supports its claim on cable failure

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The company that manages the undersea data and power cable that links Tasmania to the Australian mainland says an additional inquiry commissioned into the failure of the cable in December 2015 is now complete and reiterates what was said earlier: that the failure was caused by unknown factors.

In a statement on Friday, Basslink said Cable Consulting International, a UK-based firm regarded as a leading submarine power cable expert, was initially asked to conduct an inquiry into the cable failure.

A further independent investigation was carried out and the report was completed recently.

Basslink said the new report, known as the CCI Report, had come to the conclusion that the cause of the failure was unknown, refuting the charges made by Hydro Tasmania, a subsidiary of the government, and the state.

The dispute centres around a Basslink outage that occurred in December 2015 and was not fixed for six months. In March, the Tasmanian Government formally lodged a notice of dispute, claiming damages of $122 million for the outage. The dispute went to arbitration in April.

Since then, charges have been flung back and forth. On 20 December 2017, Hydro Tasmania said it had identified the cause of the Basslink failure and cited two experts who said it was because Basslink had exceeded its design limit.

But two days later, Basslink chief executive Malcolm Eccles dismissed the findings, saying that the expert reports cited as proof merely outlined one possible cause of the outage.

The CCI report had been provided to both Hydro Tasmania and the state, the Basslink statement said.

"Basslink has consistently maintained its position that the cable failure was a force majeure event under the Basslink Services Agreement and Basslink Operations Agreement," the statement said. "The recent CCI Report further supports Basslink’s view that the cable failure was a force majeure event under the BSA and BOA."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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