500 workers to lose jobs in Hazelwood closure

Hazelwood
Hazelwood power plant

Five hundred workers are preparing to become jobless with news of Hazelwood’s scheduled shutdown in March 2017.

The power station currently employes approximately 750 workers, 250 of which will stay on until 2023 in order to manage the station’s decommissioning and help rehabilitate the adjoining mine site, according to CDA News.

The report states there may also be Western Australia’s Kwinana plant, which is gas-fired, as well as Latrobe Valley’s Loy Yang B power station, which is operated with brown coal.

Speaking about Hazelwood owner ENGIE’s decision to decommission the power station CEO Alex Keisser said was no longer economically feasible for the plant to continue operating. In order for this to happen, Keisser said, hundreds of millions of dollars would need to be invested in order to re-establish its viability, and that level of investment could not be justified.

Hazelwood currently supplies approximately 22 per cent of Victoria’s energy requirements. The loss of jobs from the power station’s closure is being seen as a blow to the state’s economy, with Latrobe Valley unemployment rates already ranking one of the highest in the country.

ENGIE has also indicated it is studying the possible sale of two other Australian power production assets in Australia: Loy Yang B coal power station and Kwinana gas power station.