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Hazelwood rehabilitation project update

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Global Mining Review,

Engie, owner of the Hazelwood power station in Australia, has stated there is no possibility of the station reopening, following its shutdown 12 months ago.

The state of Victoria’s coalition had proposed reopening the plant in order to make up for the electricity shortfall until other options were sourced. However, Engie Station Director Wayne Buckley stated that there was “zero” change of the station reopening as it was “completely inert.”

The Gippsland South party showed interest in creating a low emission, brown coal-fired power plant in place of the Hazelwood station.

Gippsland South member Danny O'Brien stated: "The obvious site to do it would be on or around Hazelwood's location where you've got an existing mine, where you've got the existing infrastructure for transmission and distribution. That's our preference, we think we need the baseload power that a coal-fired power station can provide.”

Yet, on 14 March, Engie revealed that it intends to turn the opencast mine into a full pit lake. The company had promised the state’s community and regulators that it would leave the land “safe, stable and sustainable.”

Engie's Technical Services Manager James Faithful noted: "Engie's preferred option is a full pit lake in terms of risk management. The water will provide coverage of the coal and provide a lot of weight on the floor of the mine, and a lot of water will push up against the batters."

This lake conversion has been part of the mine’s decommissioning and rehabilitation plan since 1996. The company estimates the whole process could take up to 20 years.

The final stages of the power station’s decommissioning works are set to be completed by the end of May 2018.

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