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Subsea-cable fault: Experts' panel backs KIT's Basslink 'force majeure' view
A UK-BASED panel of experts has not found the cause of the subsea-cable fault that led to the December 2015 outage of the Basslink interconnector, said the trustee-manager of Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT) on Monday. The investigations support Basslink's view that the cable fault was a force majeure event, Basslink said.
KIT owns Basslink, which owns and operates the electricity interconnector between the electricity grids of the states of Victoria and Tasmania in Australia. The disruption in 2015 lasted six months, with Basslink Telecoms, the fibre optic cable, restarting service on June 10.
The panel, led by Cable Consulting International (CCI), investigated the disruption for more than six months.
"CCI determined that the fault had occurred within the cable; the fault was not at a location of a joint, or a lead sheath to armour bond. There was no evidence of any pre-existing mechanical damage to the cable," Basslink said.
Basslink chief executive Malcolm Eccles said the full report has been presented to the Tasmanian government, and urged it to "recommence meeting its contractual obligations to Basslink immediately".
"The silver lining in this whole exercise is that CCI found the other section of the cable it sampled to be in sound condition. This gives us confidence in the long-term outlook of the asset," said Mr Eccles.
KIT's net profit for the third quarter this year stood at S$17 million, almost double from S$8.67 million a year ago. This was boosted in part by insurance compensation recognised from the disruption at Basslink.