Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

12 February 2016

Matthew Groom, Minister for Energy

Energy update

BassLink has provided an update to the Government outlining the complexities involved with repairing the BassLink cable and that they have experienced delays to their current schedule.

Any impact on the overall schedule is still being assessed by BassLink which will make a further announcement next week once more analysis and planning has occurred.

Tasmanians can be assured that the Government will do everything necessary to maintain energy security, and as a result of this latest adverse development we will now move to activate the next round of planned contingencies.

Following a meeting of the Energy Sub-committee of Cabinet this morning, a number of actions have been agreed on:

  • the Government through its energy businesses has committed to install 100MW of containerised diesel generation to be able to generate by the end of March;
  • plans are underway to secure an additional 100MW of containerised diesel generation to be installed by the end of April; and
  • an additional 75 MW of gas fired generation will be in place at the Tamar Valley Power Station by the end of the March/early April.

On top of this the Tamar Valley Power Station combined cycle unit has been operating continuously since 19 January, and Hydro Tasmania has also been operating the available open cycle capacity 24 hours a day from mid-January generating 290 MW of energy. With all plant running at TVPS the station can provide up to 386 MW.

The temporary generation that has now been committed to, together with the Tamar Valley Power Station at full capacity, will exceed the full import capability of Basslink.

The additional temporary generation currently being sourced together with the announced major industrial load reductions is equivalent to another large power plant.

Hydro Tasmania continue to engage with the major industrials to keep them informed of the situation. There may be commercial opportunities for major industrials to voluntarily reduce their consumption.  At this stage there is no requirement based on the advice the Government has received to do more than this.

Due to the contingencies being implemented by the Government it is still our advice that storages under normal conditions will reach a low of 14 per cent.

In relation to household energy consumption, we know that most Tasmanian households and businesses are prudent with their energy use. And of course the Government would encourage people to continue to do so. But the advice we continue to receive is that there is no need for people to do anything more than what is prudent and sensible.

This is not the time for short-sighted politics or scare campaigns.  I can assure Tasmanians that while these are difficult and challenging circumstances, they are manageable and the Government will do everything to ensure energy security.

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