Tasmania sues Basslink for $122m over outage

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Tasmania sues Basslink for $122m over outage
The cable break

Spat enters the courtroom.

The Tasmanian government has filed a lawsuit against cable operator Basslink in the pursuit of $122 million in compensation for its 2015 subsea cable outage.

The state's energy minister Guy Barnett today said a notice of dispute had been formally lodged in court over the matter.

The state government claimed it had lost $122 million as a result of the 2015 outage, which downed electricity and data services from the mainland to Tasmania for six months.

"This matter will now progress through a dispute resolution process, which may lead to arbitration," Barnett said in a statement

"The Tasmanian government will not provide any further comment at this stage."

It had warned last week that it would take Basslink to court if the company did not agree to compensate the state for its claimed losses.

An investigation by Tasmanian electricity generator Hydro Tasmania found Basslink had operated the cable in a way that exceeded its design limit.

However the company has maintained that the cable failure was a "force majeure" event; its own investigation - undertaken by subsea cable firm Cable Consulting International (CCI) - had come back with a finding of “cause unknown”.

The state government has dismissed the Basslink findings. Basslink claims Hydro Tasmania's investigation did not test the cable and was "solely based on theoretical modelling".

Basslink again today said it strongly denied the state's allegations and intended to "vigorously defend" itself in court.

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