Governments sign off on three-part ownership deal to drive Marinus Link project


Marinus Link has transitioned to a three-part equity ownership arrangement that will oversee delivery of the multi-billion-dollar interconnector between Tasmania and the Australian mainland. In the new ownership model, the Commonwealth has an equity share of 49%, Victoria 33.3% and Tasmania 17.7%.

In a statement, Marinus Link Chief Executive Caroline Wykamp said “the new ownership arrangement is a fulfilment of government commitments to progress this nationally significant project.”

“It is further confirmation that our shareholder governments are serious about building Marinus Link for the benefit of all Australians,” she said.

Marinus Link has said the new ownership agreement will make no change to the interconnector’s key activities and schedules, including environmental approvals, revenue setting, tender processes and a final investment decision which is expected to be made in late 2024.

Construction is anticipated to commence in early 2025 with the federal government saying it expects the first stage of Marinus Link to be operational by 2030.

The new ownership arrangement was first announced in September 2023 when the Tasmanian government threatened to walk away from the undersea interconnector project as cost estimates continued to blow out.

The project originally comprised two 750 MW high-voltage cables stretching 255 kilometres undersea from Burnie in northwest Tasmania to Waratah Bay in Victoria, then a further 90 km underground to the Latrobe Valley.

Initial estimates priced the project at between $3.1 billion (USD 2.03 billion) and $3.8 billion but recent estimates suggest the same price tag will cover one 750 MW cable, associated terrestrial links and substation works.

The rising costs have prompted a rethink with the project to prioritise the delivery of just one 750 MW cable in the initial stage, with negotiations to continue on a second cable.

While the ownership change has not impacted the project schedule, it has seen Marinus Link separate from Tasmania’s transmission and distribution network service provider, TasNetworks, to become a stand-alone entity. Marinus LInk was a subsidiary of TasNetworks, owned by the state of Tasmania.

“It was always planned and appropriate that Marinus Link would separate from TasNetworks, when ready,” Wykamp said.

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