Marinus Link undersea survey of Bass Strait begins

TEK Ocean Spirit undersea survey vessel in dock (Marinus Link)
TEK Ocean Spirit undersea survey

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, has awarded the $5.5 million contract to MMA Offshore, with the Australian company now carrying out critical engineering surveys, known as the Marine Engineering Geotechnical Site Investigation (MEGSI).

Related article: Marinus Link: connecting Tasmania’s clean energy future

The expert crew aboard the survey ship TEK Ocean Spirit will take between four to six weeks, depending on weather conditions, to survey the 255km 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 80m 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.

TEK Ocean Spirit carrying out undersea surveys for Marinus Link

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

Related article: Hydro Tasmania and govt terminate Basslink agreement

“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,” Burnie City Council Mayor Steve Kons said.

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.

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