World's longest HVDC link delayed by months after transformers are damaged aboard ship from Germany

Six of eight 200 tonne transformers heading for Australia’s Basslink transmission project have been damaged after a ship lost its rudder in the Great Australian Bight and was subsequently struck by rough weather. As a result, the A$780 million (€464 million) Basslink project that is to allow a 600 MW power transfer between Tasmania and Gippsland in mainland Australia will be delayed by as much as five months until April 2006.

The transformers were being transported from a Siemens plant in Germany when the accident happened. Siemens project director Guenther Wanninger has reportedly said that the six A$2 million (€1.2 million) transformers would be rebuilt from scratch in Germany. They should be on site by December.

The delay may see both Victoria and South Australia facing blackouts as peak demand rises during the summer, shaving already strained capacity margins razor thin.