Speculation Hazelwood power station will close

Image: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazelwood_Power_Station

A local federal member has confirmed that the government is considering a bailout package for Gippsland, with the government reportedly expecting the Hazelwood power station could close next week.

The Herald Sun reported last night that plans to help deal with a decision that could cost 1,000 jobs to be lost were being advanced.

Local MP Darren Chester said that the power plant provided “base-load jobs” as well as base-load power.

“Forcing the closure of power stations would result in massive increases in household electricity bills and job losses across Victoria’s manufacturing industry,” he told The Herald Sun.

This morning Chester confirmed proposals are being considered.

The closure of Hazelwood would put pressure on the Portland aluminium smelter, which is currently only marginally profitable, and uses and estimated 8 – ten per cent of the state’s electricity.

Last month Citi analysts have recently said there is a real risk of closure at Portland if Hazelwood shut.

The power station’s owners, France’s Engie, could reportedly make an announcement as soon as next week.