ENGIE in Australia announces it will close Hazelwood coal power generation station and the adjoining mine, in the State of Victoria, Australia. The closure will be effective at the end of March 2017.
The closure of Hazelwood is in line with ENGIE’s strategy to gradually end its coal activities. This is laid out in the Group’s transformation plan that aims at concentrating solely on low-carbon projects for power generation, renewable energy and natural gas. In 2016, ENGIE has already sold or closed coal assets which represent more than 5 GW of capacity.
Besides, Hazelwood power station has been operating in difficult market conditions, with lower electricity prices and a surplus of electricity supply in Victoria State.
“As a responsible actor, we are committed to supporting our employees and to work now on the rehabilitation of the site, in close cooperation with all our stakeholders. ENGIE will remain an important actor in Australia. With more than 1,500 employees, we will continue our development towards low carbon activities”, said Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE.
The 1,600 MW power station has produced electricity from coal, extracted from the adjoining mine, since the 1960s. It employs 750 people, including 450 ENGIE employees and 300 contractors. Post closure, up to 250 people will be required to manage the power station decommissioning and mine rehabilitation.
ENGIE also announces today that it is studying the possible sale of two of its power production assets in Australia: Loy Yang B coal power station and Kwinana gas power station.
ENGIE has a strong presence in the energy industry in Australia through its gas and wind-generating assets in South Australia, with a total of 2 GW of capacities. It is also developing or contracting wind and solar power generation across Australia. Simply Energy, its energy retailer, is approaching 600,000 electricity and gas accounts following organic growth of 75% during the last four years and is continuing to expand into the photovoltaic and battery storage market, while ENGIE Services develops cost-saving smart energy services and facilities management.