Brief version of press release issued in Sweden, December 14, 1999

In conjunction with the hurricane that passed south of Sweden and the Baltic Sea, Baltic Cable's HVDC cable connection between Sweden and Germany was damaged. Since then, the work to localise the fault has been going on. The approximate location of the fault is measured via electrical measurement to 145 km south of the Swedish coast, south-east of the Danish island Falster.

As soon as the weather permits it, a ship with sophisticated fault searching equipment will go to the area to localise the fault. Finally, divers will be used to visual inspect the place and define the actual spot. The water depth in the area is between 20-30 m.

Considering that the fault occurred when the hurricane had its peak, there are reasons to suspect that a ship tried to seek shelter in the area. A ship in that situation which maybe also face other problems, like an engine fault, casts its anchor to get control of the vessel. It is not unlikely that a similar event is the cause of this particular cable fault, according to Bengt Ekenstierna, Baltic Cable AB.

As soon as the fault is located and the weather situation so permits, an adequate repair vessel will move to the location and initiate the repair work.

When it comes to the actual full scale repair work, there is today no ships in stand-by to start the operation before the end of January. Baltic Cable is just now in discussions with a number of possible shipping companies to find the adequate vessel to charter for the work. In practice, there are only a few possible ships around the world available that can handle such a cable repair operation with minor rebuilding. However, none of these ships can be in the area before mid of January, at the earliest. Other possible ships, requires major rebuilding to be fit for this cable repair. Several of these ships are furthermore presently working outside of Europe.

When the needed adjustments are finalised (e.g. a cable carousel is required), Baltic Cable AB must await reasonable good weather conditions for approximately 10-15 days period. Based on the information we have today, we assume that the Baltic Cable link can be in operation again in beginning of February and it shall not be excluded that it may take a couple of more weeks.

Baltic Cable AB has an insurance that covers the repair costs excluding the excess thereof.

Further information is available via Bengt Ekenstierna, President of Baltic Cable AB, telephone +46 40 25 61 50 or +46 70-535 61 50.