Second Bass Strait Interconnector - Marinus Link
Preferred bidder announced
Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.
The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.
The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.
The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).
Preferred bidder announced
A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.
Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.
ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:
Construction projects: > AUD$300m
Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m
All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million
The Second Bass Strait Interconnector (Marinus Link) is a proposed 1,200 MW interconnection between Tasmania and Victoria.
In November 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 the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The business case follows the Tamblyn Review, which was an initial report into the feasibility of a Tasmanian second interconnector, released in April 2017.
In July 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.
The business case study was released in February 2019 and examines the preferred route, optimum size, cost estimate, revenue investment test and financial model for a second interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria.
The Federal Government has committed $56 million towards the project, and committed to develop an underwriting mechanism through its Underwriting New Generation Investments program. The Tasmanian Government has also committed up to $30 million to support the feasibility assessment of three shortlisted pumped hydro energy storage sites in north-western Tasmania, and to advance the first of these sites to final investment decision by 2021.
TasNetworks, working with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has identified that the Marinus Link project is technically feasible. The findings were outlined in detail in the Project Marinus Business Case Assessment released in December 2019. The assessment demonstrates that Marinus Link, and associated supporting transmission, will support the transition to a low emissions future by delivering additional dispatchable capacity across the Bass Strait.
The 2019-20 Federal Budget confirmed an allocation of $56 million of funding in FY2018-19 to accelerate the Marinus Link Interconnector.
Marinus Link is currently expected to start operations by 2027-28.
The project is included under the broader National Electricity Market, which Infrastructure Australia identifies as a High Priority Initiative on its Infrastructure Priority List. The project was previously listed a Priority Initiative of long term (10-15 years) importance.
Last reviewed: 13/12/2019