The Second Bass Strait Interconnector (Marinus Link) is a proposed 1,500 megawatt (MW) undersea electricity connection between Tasmania and Victoria, with supporting transmission infrastructure. The project is being developed by TasNetworks, and would operate in addition to the existing Basslink interconnector.
Stage One of the project would see a 750 MW high voltage direct current link between Burnie in Tasmania and Hazelwood in Victoria, with supporting network augmentations in Tasmania. Stage Two would involve a second 750 MW HVDC cable.
The components of the project include around 250 kilometres of undersea cables, 90 kilometres of underground cables and converter stations at both ends.
The proposed route of the project is between the Hazelwood area in Latrobe Valley, Victoria, and Heybridge, just east of Burnie in north-west Tasmania.
|Jul 2028||Stage One Expected Construction Commencement|
|Jul 2032||Stage One Expected Construction Completion|
|Jul 2032||Stage Two Expected Construction Commencement|
|Jul 2036||Stage Two Expected Construction Completion|
The Federal Government's contribution is through ARENA for project development.
|Apr 2017||The Tamblyn Review, an initial report into the feasibility of a Tasmanian second interconnector was released.|
|Nov 2017||TasNetworks announced it would undertake a $20 million assessment of the feasibility and business case for a second Bass Straight interconnector, with assistance from ARENA.|
|Jul 2018||TasNetworks released the Project Specification Consultation Report for public consultation, which examines the case for further interconnection between Tasmania and Victoria. The document applies the regulatory test for transmission (RIT-T) process to determine whether the project is in the long-term interest of customers.|
|Feb 2019||A business case study examining the preferred route, optimum size, cost estimate, revenue investment test and financial model for a second interconnector was released.|
|Dec 2019||The Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) and Business Case Assessment were released for consultation. The PADR proposed splitting the project into two stages.|
|Jun 2020||The Federal Government announced that Federal planning approvals for the project will be fast-tracked under a bilateral model between the Federal and Tasmanian Governments.|
|Jul 2020||In its 2020 Integrated System Plan, AEMO identified Marinus Link as a critical project and provided updated costings for Stages One and Two. Stage One has an estimated cost of between $1.3 billion and $2.4 billion, with a modelled cost of $1.845 billion. Stage Two has a cost estimate of between $2.2 billion and $4.1 billion, with a modelled cost of $3.155 billion. Early Works across both stages are estimated to cost $140 million.|
|Sep 2020||The Federal Government announced that it intends to work with state governments to accelerate the project, alongside the Victoria to NSW Interconnector West (VNI West), through a combined program with funding of 'up to' $250 million.|
|Oct 2020||The 2020-21 Federal Budget provided a loan (of an unspecified amount) for the design and approval phase of the project to enable a financial investment decision by 2024. A Special Purpose Vehicle was to be set up to facilitate governance and decision-making.|
|Mar 2021||The project's Options Report was put on public exhibition. The report identifies a preferred route for the project which includes approximately 250 kilometres of subsea cables, up to 90 kilometres of land cables and a converter station at each end.|
|Jun 2021||The RIT-T Project Assessment Conclusions Report was released. This included a P50 cost estimate of $3.5 billion, based on analysis by Jacobs. The P90 cost estimate was $3.8 billion. This represented a substantially lower estimated cost than the upper bound costs included in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2020 Integrated Systems Plan.|
|Jul 2021||Pre-qualification commenced for the procurement of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) components of the project. Pre-qualification documents were to be made available on 6 August, with submissions closing on 24 September.|
|Oct 2021||TasNetworks submitted Federal and Victorian Government environmental referrals for project assessment.|