MMA Offshore secures work on Australia’s new interconnector

Australia-based MMA Offshore has secured a contract to conduct underwater geotechnical surveys to refine the cable route for the proposed interconnection project Marinus Link.

Survey vessel TEK Ocean Spirit (Courtesy of Marinus Link)

Marinus Link Pty, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TasNetworks, awarded the A$5.5 million (nearly $4 million) contract to MMA Offshore to carry out critical engineering surveys, known as the Marine Engineering Geotechnical Site Investigation (MEGSI).

Under the contract, MMA will acquire, integrate and interpret geophysical and geotechnical data to assist with the cable route feasibility assessment and cost estimates.

The survey is scheduled to begin in January 2022 and will take between four to six weeks, depending on weather conditions. It covers 255 kilometres between Heybridge in northwest Tasmania and Waratah Bay in South Gippsland, Victoria.

As informed, the vessel TEK Ocean Spirit will be conducting the survey on approximately 110 sites across the Bass Strait, in sea depths up to 80 metres.

This 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’s 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”, Clark added.

The proposed 1500 MW electricity and telecommunications connection between Victoria and Tasmania involves approximately 255 kilometres of undersea HVDC cable and approximately 90 kilometres of underground HVDC cable.

Marinus Link will also include converter stations in Tasmania and Victoria, and approximately 220 kilometres of supporting HVAC transmission in North West Tasmania, known as the North West Transmission Developments.

Said to play a critical role in supporting the decarbonisation of Australia’s economy and the country’s transition to renewable energy, the $3 billion project is expected to cut at least 140 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050 and create at least 2800 direct and indirect jobs through construction.

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