Logistics, Ports & Terminals, Mining and Heavy Industries

Hazelwood shutdown ‘disastrous act of national self-harm’

French-based energy business Engie is officially shutting down the Hazelwood coal power station this week, renewing calls from manufacturers for the government to do more to stabilise the nation’s energy market.

Hazelwood, which has for some time contributed more than a fifth of Victoria’s power supply, will produce its last energy on April 2.

A number of major manufacturing and industry representatives have used the shutdown to call for action on electricity affordability and security.

Food and Grocery Council boss Terry O’Brien was one of the more vocal industry leaders, telling the ABC of a very real threat of manufacturers quitting Australia.

“The decision to stay or go gets more and more marginal as the days go on,” O’Brien reportedly told ABC.

“And there’s not a heck of a lot of sentiment in these internationally managed companies.

“They go where it makes sense. And if it’s not going to make sense here, they leave.”

The closure of Hazelwood will boost the likelihood of blackouts – a manufacturer’s worst nightmare O’Brien pointed out.

“To stop production through a lack of energy is just a disaster,” he was quoted as saying.

More explosive comments came from energy entrepreneur and Sunset Power boss Trevor St Baker.

St Baker reportedly told the AFR that the government allowing Engie to shut Hazelwood was “a disastrous act of national self-harm”.

“The scale of the Latrobe Valley brown coal resource and its low cost for power generation hcannot be ignored as an irreplaceable economic energy resource for electricity supply to Victorian and national industry, and for maintenance of jobs and national prosperity,” St Baker said.

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