Basslink: Rejects allegations in Hydro Tasmania’s notice of disputes

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Basslink Pty., part of the Keppel Infrastructure Trust portfolio, said on Monday that it rejected the allegations in the notice of disputes under its services agreement, which it received from Hydro Tasmania on Friday.

That followed Basslink issuing a notice of disputes to Hydro Tasmania in mid-September over unpaid fees, which was later referred to arbitration.

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.

Basslink said in a statement on Monday that with one exception, the Hydro Tasmania’s disputes were all based on allegations in reports from DNV GL, obtained by the Australian electricity generator’s lawyers.

“Basslink has consistently rejected the allegations in the DNV GL reports, which are based on theoretical modelling and not on any testing of the Basslink HVDC cable, as none was undertaken by DNV GL,” Basslink said.

It pointed to an independent investigation performed by Cable Consulting International, conducted over a six-month period in 2016 and which used forensic analysis; that investigation reported the outage as “cause unknown.”

The final dispute from Hydro Tasmania is on the content of Basslink’s Asset Management Plan and Marine Disaster Recovery Plan, it said.

Basslink said its plans were currently under review, but that Hydro Tasmania preemptively instituted the dispute before the review was completed.

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