Marinus Link awards $5.5m Bass Strait marine engineering survey tender

December 2nd, 2021

Category: News

The Marinus Link interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria has taken another major step forward in its design and approvals phase, with the successful tender of underwater geotechnical surveys to refine the cable route. 

Marinus Link Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of TasNetworks, is delighted to announce that an Australian company, MMA Offshore, has won the $5.5 million contract to carry out critical engineering surveys, known as the Marine Engineering Geotechnical Site Investigation (MEGSI).

The expert crew aboard the survey ship ‘TEK Ocean Spirit’ will leave from Burnie Port in January 2022 and take between four to six weeks, depending on weather conditions, to survey the 255 kilometres between Heybridge in north west Tasmania and Waratah Bay in South Gippsland, Victoria.

The survey will be conducted on approximately 110 sites across Bass Strait, in sea depths up to 80 metres  and is the third marine survey, including a recent ecology survey, undertaken to determine the most suitable corridor for Marinus Link’s undersea cables to be sensitively buried.

Marinus Link Pty Ltd CEO Bess Clark said this latest tender award demonstrates that Marinus Link is committed to rigorous technical processes to sensitively design and build this national-priority infrastructure.

“Marinus Link is the key to unlocking the deep storage of the Battery of the Nation for mainland Australia – increasing reliability, keeping electricity prices lower and significantly boosting access to renewable energy,” Ms Clark said.

“Along with downward pressure on prices and increased reliability, Marinus Link will also cut emissions, create 2800 direct and indirect jobs in both Tasmania and Victoria, attract billions of dollars in regional investment to both states and unlock a pipeline of future renewable energy development.”

The 87-metre survey ship and its crew from Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria will be based in Burnie during the 39-day survey program.

“With Burnie as the home port for the Ocean Spirit from mid-January, the Burnie economy can expect a post-Christmas boost as the ship crew source all its requirements such fuel, food and services from Burnie businesses,” said Burnie City Council Mayor, Steve Kons.

Burnie residents will be able to see the vessel do its work off the former Tioxide site where the proposed Marinus Link converter stations are planned to be built.

“We are proud to be supporting Australian businesses as we progress a critical piece of the nation’s clean electricity grid,” Ms Clark said.

Background

The $3.5bn ($2021) Project Marinus interconnector is a proposed 1500 megawatt electricity and telecommunications connection between Victoria and Tasmania called Marinus Link, plus supporting transmission network developments in Tasmania’s North West.

Marinus Link involves approximately 255 kilometres of undersea High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable and approximately 90 kilometres of underground HVDC cable. It will also include converter stations in Tasmania and Victoria, and approximately 220 kilometres of supporting High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) transmission in North West Tasmania, known as the North West Transmission Developments.

Marinus Link will cut at least 140 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050, the equivalent of taking approximately a million petrol/diesel cars off the road.

1500 megawatts equates to supplying approximately 1.5 million Australian homes with electricity at any given time.

Project Marinus will create at least 2800 direct and indirect jobs through construction, with direct economic investments in regional areas of approximately $3bn.

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