Hazelwood rehabilitation to cost at least $743m

The rehabilitation of the Hazelwood power station and mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley will cost at least $743 million.

In November, Engie announced the Hazelwood power station would close at the end of March this year. CEO Alex Keisser said at the time, the power station was no longer “economically feasible for the plant to continue operating.

The rehabilitation of the mine is expected to cost $439 million, with the bill for work on the power station site and the surrounding areas expected to reach $304 million.

An Engie spokesperson told ABC News the estimated cost could rise, and did not include an extra $324 million set aside to cover redundancy costs and the settlement of leave entitlements.

“The work will take place over multiple years and may lead to variations in-future expenditure expectations,” the spokesperson said.

“As Hazelwood is the first mine in Australia of this type and size to be rehabilitated, specialist external consultants will continue to be required.

“[They will] advise on geotechnical, environmental and hydrogeological matters to allow for the development of the most appropriate methodology for a safe, stable and sustainable site after closure.”

The Hazelwood coal mine fire stayed ablaze for 45 days in 2014, from February 9 to March 25, covering the nearby town of Morwell.

During an inquiry into the fire in 2015, Engie estimated the mine’s rehabilitation would cost $73 million.