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Basslink resumes service

BASSLINK, a unit of Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT), said the sole electricity interconnector between Tasmania and mainland Australia has resumed service.

In a statement released on SGX on Monday, through Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management, KIT's trustee-manager, Basslink said the electricity interconnector resumed operation at 11.51am, exporting power from Tasmania to Victoria at 112 MWh.

Basslink Telecoms, the fibre optic cable, recommenced service on Friday, June 10, the media statement added.

Operation of the electricity interconnector recommenced ahead of the expected return to service date of June 14.

The Basslink operational team undertook the repairs on the interconnector over the last six months, together with telecom equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent and cable manufacturer Prysmian.

Basslink's chief executive of Basslink Malcolm Eccles said examinations into fault diagnosis are still ongoing.

Operation of the interconnector was suspended following a fault reported in the subsea power link on Dec 20 last year.

Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management reiterated Basslink's belief that the outage of the interconnector is a force majeure event and the fault is covered by insurance.

Australia-based energy advisory firm EnergyQuest has estimated on June 3 that the failure of the Basslink interconnector has cost Tasmania at least A$560 million (then equivalent to S$555.8 million).

But Tasmania's Energy Minister Matthew Groom has disputed the cost estimate by EnergyQuest. "Costs have been incurred in responding to the issue, but not of the magnitude (EnergyQuest) cited," Mr Groom said, adding that the government has not paid for the cable during its period of inaction. This, according to Mr Groom, represents a saving of about A$40 million.

KIT saw its Q1 net profit attributable to unitholders plunge to S$2,000 from S$2.66 million, "primarily as a result of Basslink not receiving facility fees due to the cable fault".