Hazelwood decommissioning wraps up

Decommissioning of the Hazelwood Power Station was officially completed on the last day of May.

Hazelwood rehabilitation project director Tony Innocenzi said the project was completed on time and on budget after the station owner ENGIE shut it down in March last year.

Mr Innocenzi said they had appointed a consultant to do pre-planning work for the demolition process which includes working with regulators and tendering for contracts.

The mammoth task included removing 1.3 million litres of oil from site.

About 1500 cables were cut and about 500 batteries were removed as part of electrical de-energisation.

The process also included decommissioning 392 rooms within the power station buildings and completing 198 safety walks.

ENGIE has put mine rehabilitation work on hiatus over winter to start up again in spring.

However, the process means 60 bucket wheel operators have lost their jobs which will be replaced by contractors operating truck and shovels.

Electrical Trades Union organiser Peter Mooney said he was disappointed about the job losses of the bucket wheel operators.

"We were hoping they would keep their jobs until the end of the mine rehabilitation. [ENGIE] made it clear they would move to using contractors for the truck and shovel work," Mr Mooney said.

He said former workers had been offered training opportunities with the Gippsland Trades and Labour Council to apply for future jobs.

"But there are not a lot of long term jobs around. We hope that larger projects in the Latrobe Valley will turn into long term jobs," Mr Mooney said.

ENGIE said it would support the bucket wheel operators as they leave this month.

An ENGIE spokeswoman said impacted workers would have access to a range of support services including outplacement, employee assistance programs and a $4000 training allowance.

"Assistance will be provided with regard to seeking future employment, training opportunities, superannuation, retirement and other interests," she said.

"Departing employees will receive all their entitlements including a redundancy package."

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