Victoria-Tasmania power link opens
May 9, 2006 au.biz.yahoo.com
The world's longest underwater electricity
link is now in operation following the official
opening of the Basslink power cable between Victoria
The 360km electricity link spanning Bass Strait was
simultaneously launched by Victorian Premier Steve
Bracks and his Tasmanian counterpart Paul Lennon.
The link, known as an inter-connector, runs from
Loy Yang, Victoria's largest power station, across
Bass Strait to Five Mile Bluff in northern Tasmania.
National Grid Australia Managing Director Bill Russell
said Basslink would play a vital role in securing
mainland Australia's energy needs.
"Back in 1999 when we submitted our tender to build
Basslink, National Grid recognised the importance
of the project to Tasmania and mainland Australia,"
Mr Russell said.
"This has been a large project for our company ...
and one which National Grid is very proud to be part
of," he said.
The $780 million project will enhance the security
of electricity supplies on both sides of Bass Strait
- protecting Tasmania against the risk of drought-constrained
energy shortages and safeguarding Victoria and southern
mainland states against the forecast shortage of peak
load power in summer.
Basslink has the capacity to export up to 600 megawatts
of power to Victoria and import up to 300 megawatts
National Grid won the tender to build Basslink in
A two-and-a-half-year environmental assessment followed
with the federal, Victorian and Tasmanian governments
approving Basslink in November 2002.
Basslink is owned and operated by UK-based international
transmission company, National Grid Transco.