Keppel Infrastructure Trust unit Basslink's under-sea cable out of service until Tuesday

SINGAPORE - Basslink, an Australian subsidiary of mainboard-listed Keppel Infrastructure Trust (KIT), experienced a trip in its under-sea electricity cable on Saturday morning (Aug 24).

As a precautionary measure, the Basslink Interconnector remains out of service while investigations are ongoing, . The interconnector links the electricity grids of Victoria and Tasmania in Australia.

It is expected to return to service on Tuesday, Basslink said on Sunday evening.

The trip was caused by the direct current protection system, and currently only affects the electricity interconnector. The Basslink telecoms cable, which provides broadband services to internet service providers, continues to operate.

Basslink will update and advise its key stakeholders on the developments.

KIT said on Sunday that the Basslink interconnector being out of service is not expected to have any material financial impact on its net tangible asset per unit and distribution per unit for the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2019, from the Basslink interconnector.

In an interview with The Business Times (BT), Matthew Pollard, chief executive of KIT's manager, shrugged off long-running troubles at Basslink.

Basslink is in disputes with both the state of Tasmania and state enterprise Hydro Tasmania over a six-month outage in 2015. Tasmania last year claimed some A$100 million over the cable failure. Basslink, which went into technical default on its project financing, also has a loan of A$694.4 million that matures this November.

"The extreme scenario" is that Tasmania's claim is found fully valid "and we have a hundred million-dollar bill", Mr Pollard told BT. "A significant amount of that will still be insurable, but some of that will not be."

Units of KIT closed flat at 51.5 cents on Friday.