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Country Australia
Coordinates 38°15′45″S 146°36′29″E / 38.26250°S 146.60806°E / -38.26250; 146.60806 (LoyYang Static Inverter Plant)
38°24′22″S 147°4′6″E / 38.40611°S 147.06833°E / -38.40611; 147.06833 (Victorian Cable Terminal)
41°2′32″S 146°52′07″E / 41.04222°S 146.86861°E / -41.04222; 146.86861 (Tasmanian Cable Terminal)
41°6′53″S 146°53′31″E / 41.11472°S 146.89194°E / -41.11472; 146.89194 (Georgetown Static Inverter Plant)
From Loy Yang Power Station, Victoria
Passes through Bass Strait
To George Town substation, northern Tasmania
Ownership information
Owner CitySpring Infrastructure Trust
Construction information
Construction started 2003
Commissioned 2005
Technical information
Type submarine cable
Type of current HVDC
Total length 370 km (230 mi)
Power rating 500 MW (670,000 hp)

Basslink is a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable link crossing Bass Strait, connecting the Loy Yang Power Station, Victoria on the Australian mainland to the George Town substation in northern Tasmania. It can supply some of the peak load capacity to the mainland of Australia and take some of the excess base load capacity off the coal-fired generators on the mainland to supply Tasmania, leading to all round economic and pollution savings. Tasmania benefits in that its need to invest in further base load generation facilities is deferred or eliminated, and it can profit by selling peak load power into a market in which prices are generally higher. The cable has also been used to supply power to Tasmania in times of drought, as the majority of Tasmania's electricity generation is hydroelectricity.


When the Board of Hydro Tasmania originally entered into a preliminary agreement to build Basslink in 2000, it was projected to cost $500 million.[1] Efforts to prevent corrosion of pipelines and other factors ultimately meant it cost around A$800m to build.[2]

The interconnector was constructed between 2003 and 2005 as an asset of National Grid Australia Pty Ltd, which itself was owned by UK company National Grid plc.

On 1 December 2005, electrical power flowed across Basslink for the first time, as part of the testing procedure. At midnight on the morning of Saturday, 29 April 2006, the link was officially enabled for commercial trading of energy on the National Electricity Market.[3]

On 31 August 2007, CitySpring Infrastructure Trust, a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek, completed the acquisition of Basslink with a total enterprise value of A$1.175 billion.[4]

On 21 December 2015 it was announced the Basslink was disconnected due to a faulty interconnector approximately 100 kilometres off the Tasmanian coast, Basslink has announced the repair should be completed, and the Basslink cable returned to service by 19 March 2016.[5]


Basslink is a monopolar with metallic return[6] HVDC operating at a nominal voltage of 400 kV DC. The nominal rating of the link is 500 MW (670,000 hp) although it is capable of transmitting 630 MW (840,000 hp) from George Town to Loy Yang for up to 4 hours.

It consists of:

  • 290-kilometre (180 mi) long submarine power cable from McGaurans Beach near Giffard, Victoria to Four Mile Bluff above George Town in Tasmania. The cable weighs 60 kg/m.[7] It is the second longest submarine power cable in the world. (see also NorNed)
  • 60.8 kilometres (37.8 mi) overhead power line to the Victorian coast
  • 6.6 kilometres (4.1 mi) underground cable in Victoria
  • 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) overhead line section to the Tasmanian coast
  • 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) underground cable in Tasmania.

The pylons of Basslink are of an unusual type. They have two asymmetric crossbars with different lengths. The high voltage line is mounted on the upmost longer crossbar, while the electrode line is carried by the lower smaller crossbar, which shows in the opposite direction.[8]

Communications cable[edit]

The Basslink cable also includes a run of dark fibre. This is notable as it was the first non–Telstra operated fibre cable crossing Bass Strait. The Tasmanian Government uses it, as well as the TasGovNet fibre backbone, as part of the Connect Tasmania Core infrastructure, to facilitate a more competitive telecommunications industry within the state.[9] The link was also to be used by the now defunct OPEL network.[10]

The Basslink fibre between Loy Yang and Georgetown went into operational testing in April 2009[11] and went live in July 2009.[12]

Basslink Telecoms was officially launched on Thursday 16 July 2009 by the Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett, Federal Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy and Basslink CEO Malcolm Eccles.[13]



  1. ^ Electricity Supply Industry Expert Panel (December 2011). "Basslink: Decision making, expectations and outcomes" (PDF). 
  2. ^ Dark Days Loom For Power Supply. 06/11/2011. The Age
  3. ^ Power flows through Basslink. 29/04/2006. ABC News Online
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "Operations". Basslink. 
  7. ^ National Grid To Sell Basslink Electricity Interconnector
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ "Telecommunications tenders". Department of Treasury and Finance (Tasmania). 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2006-12-13. [dead link]
  10. ^ "OPEL Network Fact Sheet" (PDF) (Press release). Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  11. ^ "Basslink Telecoms on track for June launch" (PDF) (Press release). Basslink Telecoms. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Internode first ISP to cross Bass Strait with Basslink" (Press release). Internode. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  13. ^ Basslink launch

External links[edit]