Shipping accident delays Tasmania power link to mainland

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Completion of the Basslink underwater power line between Victoria and Tasmania has been delayed until at least April 2006 after six of the eight 200 tonne transformers delivered from Germany were damaged in transit. The ship carrying them lost its rudder in the Great Australian Bight and began to wallow, with the resulting damage caused to the transformers so severe they are being returned to Germany to be completely rebuilt. The A$780 million Basslink was due to be completed by this November for the export of electricity, including wind generated supplies, from Tasmania to Victoria on the mainland. Without the ability to draw on the 600 MW of Tasmanian power available during times of peak demand, Victoria faces continuing power shortages this summer.

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