The 1.5 GW plant came online in 1971 and supplies 25 per cent of Victoria’s baseload power capacity.
Isabelle Kocher, Engie’s CEO, said on Wednesday that the company is “studying all possible scenarios, including closure, or a sale if the state of Victoria tells us that it cannot meet power generating needs without this plant”.
Kocher said Engie plans to gradually decrease its coal-fired power production over the next few years as the firm transforms its business model from coal- and gas-fired power to renewables, energy services and decentralized energy technologies.
The firm intends to review its coal-fired power plants and shut down the oldest and least efficient, or convert them to biomass if viable.
In 2005, Hazelwood was listed as the OECD’s least carbon-efficient power plant in a report from WWF Australia.
Engie has already shut down 1.6 GW of coal-fired capacity in Europe, most recently its 1800 MW Polaniec coal-fired plant in Poland.
Kocher said that more efficient plants in developing countries would likely be sold rather than shut down. Earlier this year the company sold coal-fired plants in India and Indonesia, bringing the share of coal-fired power in its overall mix to around 10 per cent.
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