The energy situation continues to be a very serious and challenging issue.
The combination of record dry conditions and an extended Basslink outage are extraordinary and unprecedented.
Basslink has again confirmed today that the current schedule of the cable repair works continues to be on track for a return to operation on the 19th of March. The Government will continue to stay in close contact with Basslink as the work through the repair program.
The cable repair process is technical and complex and we must acknowledge that there are risks of a further delay and also a risk of further record low rainfall.
As we have previously announced, in order to ensure we can respond to any further adverse developments we have worked with Hydro Tasmania to pursue a number of contingencies.
The Combined Cycle Unit is currently back up and running. This brings the total gas generation at the site to approximately 280MW.
Hydro are also continue to pursue additional gas generation of approximately 105MW which is a combination of the return to service of the Trent unit which has an additional capacity of approximately 60MW as well as some further additional capacity from the existing peaking units.
In addition, Hydro Tasmania is pursuing arrangements to source other additional temporary generation should it be required. This will involve the transport to Tasmania of temporary containerised diesel generation units of approximately another 60MW with further options also being pursued.
This increased generation is only likely to be required if Basslink does not return to service in March as planned or the unprecedented dry conditions continue for an extended period.
However to have the increased generation available should it be required it is necessary to progress the sourcing now.
In addition we continue to stay in close contact with the major industrials. This is the prudent thing to do.
This is a difficult and challenging situation that requires careful and prudent management and that is what the Government is focused on.
The Government will do everything necessary to ensure energy security for Tasmania.