Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

25 January 2016

Matthew Groom, Minister for Energy

Basslink and energy update

Basslink has today advised that process to fix the cable remains on track, although we must continue to acknowledge that it is a complex operation and future delays can not be ruled out.

Today, the repair vessel the Ile de rey is scheduled to depart Geelong at approximately 4p.m. and will travel to the fault site in Bass Strait.

Last week I met with the owners of Basslink in Geelong, and was provided an opportunity to inspect the Ile de rey and get a first-hand update on progress of the cable repair process.

The Government will continue to remain in regular contact with Basslink to ensure Tasmanians are kept up to date on the progress of the repair.

Today we also received an update from Hydro Tasmania on water storages, which are currently at 18.9 per cent. This is a decline of 1.1 per cent in the last week.  This is in part a consequence of the ongoing record dry conditions.

Hydro Tasmanian has again confirmed its advice that water storages are projected to reach a low of 14 per cent by the end of March to Early April, assuming long-term average rainfall.

The Tamar Valley combined cycle unit continues to operate at full capacity. This brings onsite generation to 280MW of operational capacity including the combined cycle unit and three peaking units. 

The Government continues to pursue additional contingencies to ensure we are able to manage the situation if things worsen as a result of ongoing dry conditions or further delay to the Basslink repair. These additional contingencies include the sourcing of additional temporary generation. In addition, we continue to remain in close contact with the major industrial users.

The current energy situation is very challenging, but the Government remains committed to doing everything necessary to ensure energy security for Tasmanians.

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