Home Telecoms & NBN Basslink denies Tasmania claims for damages over cable outage

Basslink has denied claims by the Tasmanian Government that it had breached warranties about the design and construction of the Basslink Interconnector and reiterated that the failure was a force majeure event.

The government last week demanded that the company pay $100 million in damages for the six-month outage from December 2015 onwards.

Charges have been flung back and forth over the outage. In December 2017, Basslink chief executive Malcolm Eccles denied a claim by Hydro Tasmania that blamed the outage on Basslink exceeding its design limit.

Basslink, which manages the data and power cable that links Tasmania to the Australian mainland, said it understood that the government's allegations stemmed from the DNV GL reports commissioned by lawyers for Hydro Tasmania, which were provided to Basslink in December last year.

"As Basslink has previously noted, DNV GL did not conduct any testing of the Basslink Interconnector's cable and their reports were solely based on theoretical modelling," a statement said.

Hydro Tasmania had commissioned a power cable failure expert and a thermal modelling expert from international engineering consultancy DNV GL, which is recognised as the global leader in this field, to carry out its investigation.

But Basslink said: "The modelling used for the reports has not been shared with Basslink despite repeated requests to Hydro Tasmania. Without that information, it is difficult for Basslink to respond to these reports."

"Basslink stands by the independent investigation that was undertaken by CCI, who concluded the actual root cause of the cable failure in December 2015 as 'cause unknown'," the company statement said.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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