Keppel Infrastructure Trust: Basslink dispute to go to arbitration

Australian notes and coins

Basslink Pty., part of the Keppel Infrastructure Trust portfolio, has referred its dispute with Hydro Tasmania to arbitration after failing to resolve the matter using other procedures, it said in a statement filed to SGX after the market close on Monday.

The dispute with Hydro Tasmania centers around a nearly six-month outage in 2015 of the 370-km electricity interconnector between Australia’s Victoria state and Tasmania, held by Basslink, which reportedly contributed to an energy crisis in Tasmania. Basslink has reportedly said the cause of the outage was unknown and a force majeure event, while Hydro Tasmania blames exceeding the cable’s design limit, causing it to degrade.

The state government is seeking around A$122 million in compensation from Basslink.

In a separate statement from Keppel Infrastructure Trust’s manager, it noted that issuing the notice of dispute over Basslink before receiving directions from its financiers’ agent could trigger a default under its project financing. In September, Keppel Infrastructure Trust noted that it proceeded with the notice of dispute prior to being directed to do so in the interests of time and to avoid delay.

“The borrower continues to work with the financiers and the financiers’ agent to consent to the issuance of the notice of dispute,” Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management, the trust’s manager, said in a filing to SGX on Monday. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, the borrower remains current on the debt and all outstanding payments under the project financing have been fulfilled.”

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