Basslink defers cable service date again

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Basslink defers cable service date again
The cut in the cable.

Bad weather hampers repair efforts.

Basslink has been forced to push back the return to service date for its subsea Bass Strait electricity and data cable for a second time as bad weather impedes repair efforts.

The cable operator today said it had lost more than 20 days of repair works to bad weather in the last month since it completed its first joint.

The cable is therefore now expected to return to service in late June. Basslink had originally advised of a mid-June return to service but previously acknowledged bad weather could cause delays.

The ability to perform jointing works is highly reliant on good weather and calm sea conditions given the works take place on the ship's deck.

"Given the repair has around 20 days of marine-based work remaining which will be directly affected by any changes in weather conditions, Basslink needs to allow for additional contingency in the timeline for the cable’s return to service," the company said in a statement today.

Basslink expects to begin splicing for the first of two joints today, once it can identify a window of clear weather ahead. 

It's the second time Basslink has pushed back the expected return to service date for the embattled cable.

The company wrapped up the first stage of repairs to the damaged cable last month, when it laid 1355 metres of new fibre on the seabed. It located the site of the fault in March, about 90km off the Tasmanian coast, after first identifying a cut in the cable in December last year.

It had initially advised a late May return to service, but discovered that the fault had allowed water to penetrate the cable, meaning a third joint would be required.

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