On 3 November 2016, Engie announced that Hazelwood would be closed by the end of March 2017, citing the company’s transformational policy of investing solely in low-carbon and renewable energy, as well lower energy prices and oversupply within Victoria.
On 27 March 2017, units #8, #6 and #4 were permanently shut down, followed by units #2, #7 and #5 on 28 March 2017, and units #3 and #1 on 29 March 2017. Unit #1 was shut down last at 4.56pm. It was chosen to be last because Unit 1 was the first Hazelwood generating unit to come into operation on 30 November 1964.
Decommissioning of mine and power station plant and equipment is expected to take 12 months.
Asbestos removal processes are highly regulated by WorkSafe and supported through related regulations. The controls and risk mitigations in place around asbestos removal are extremely robust and supported by monitoring at the workface, in the immediate surrounds and at the perimeter of the workplace. In the event of a detection of an unidentified airborne fibre, further stringent procedures for containment, decontamination and clean-up will be put in place.
Material will be placed in the asbestos containment area by mechanical means. The asbestos containment area will be in operation for approximately two and a half years, after which expectations are that it will be closed and rehabilitated in late 2021.