Basslink: Hydro Tasmania dispute referred to arbitration

Australian notes and coins

Basslink Pty., part of the Keppel Infrastructure Trust portfolio, said on Thursday that it had followed the dispute resolution procedures with Hydro Tasmania and the disputes have not been resolved, with the matter now 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.

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

The same arbitrator is also hearing the matters over Basslink’s notice of dispute and the State of Tasmania’s dispute with Basslink, the filing to SGX on Thursday said. The state government is seeking around A$122 million in compensation from Basslink.

“Basslink will continue to vigorously defend the claims made against it by Hydro Tasmania and the State of Tasmania,” the filing said.

Keppel Infrastructure Trust said in a separate statement on Thursday that the update wasn’t expected to have any material financial impact on the trust’s net tangible assets per unit or distribution per unit for the current financial year.

Get the Shenton Wire morning briefing in your inbox