Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



29 March 2016

Matthew Groom, Minister for Energy

Removal of Basslink uncertainty is good news

Through the Energy Supply Plan, the Government is committed to doing everything necessary to ensure energy security for Tasmania. 

Confirmation that Basslink has identified and removed the fault in the Basslink cable is good news and a significant positive development. It has also been confirmed that both the southern and northern ends of the cable are completely fault-free.  

This means that, contrary to claims being peddled by some, there are not multiple faults and the process for the repair of the cable is now clearly understood. 

This means a significant amount of uncertainty around the repair of the cable has been removed. 

While there will be a further delay to complete repairs, the Energy Supply Plan has been designed to accommodate this.

In addition, I can report that the second major development is that 58MW Rolls Royce ‘Trent’ unit, which arrived in Tasmania last Thursday, two weeks ahead of schedule, is now on track to commence generation as early as this weekend. 

The Tamar Valley Power Station workforce has worked over Easter to get the turbine ready to return to service as soon as possible. 

Hydro has also confirmed that it remains on track to complete the installation of 100MW of temporary diesel generation this week.  Diesel generation at Catagunya is already online and contributing power to the grid.  Diesel generators at Meadowbank Power Station and the George Town substation are expected to start generating into the grid this week.  Generators at Port Latta and Que River will come online shortly after that.

  • Catagunya Power Station: 24 MW has been installed and is operating well.
  • Meadowbank Power Station: 24 MW is installed and being commissioned, operation to commence this week.
  • George Town substation: 21 MW is installed and being commissioned, operation to commence this week.
  • Port Latta substation: 20 MW is installed, with commissioning to commence this week.
  • Que River 1: 18MW is installed with commissioning to commence this week.

Work is also progressing on the second tranche of additional generation, with 200 MW of temporary diesel generation to be installed by the end of April.

  • Que River 2: 18MW to be installed; design completed, equipment procured and site works commenced and progressing to plan.
  • Savage River: 24MW to be installed; design completed, equipment procured and site works commenced and progressing to plan.
  • Bell Bay 1: 50MW of dual fuel capacity to be installed; design completed, equipment procured and site works commenced. First generation likely to be early May.

Under Phase Two of the Energy Supply Plan, Hydro Tasmania is sourcing additional generation capacity, including two additional 25 MW dual fuel units, which will also be installed in the Bell Bay precinct during May.

Finally, the cloud seeding season will begin this Friday, one month earlier than the usual season start.

While seeding over hydro-generation catchments will have the highest priority, Hydro Tasmania is also prepared to undertake cloud seeding over agricultural catchments and bear the cost of this extra activity.

Cloud seeding can only occur if cloud conditions are favourable. Historical information shows that there is a good chance of being able to undertake some cloud seeding activity during April.

As of yesterday afternoon, total energy in storage was 13.9 per cent. In light of the extension of time for Basslink repair, I have asked Hydro to extend their projections for a likely low point in dam water storages. 

We will make Hydro's revised projections publicly available as soon as they are confirmed. The advice we continue to received is that with all of the contingencies provided for under the Energy Supply Plan we can continue to meet Tasmanian's energy requirements.



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