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Power Prices Spike on Hazelwood Closure Fears


Source: The Age, 2 November 2016

Households and industry are braced for a possible spike in electricity prices with the confirmation the aging Hazelwood power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley is to close by March expected imminently.

In its wake, the prospects for the Alcoa aluminium smelter at Portland are looking increasingly grim following the end of government subsidy earlier this week, and with little clarity on the status of negotiations with its power supplier, AGL, over electricity prices for the smelter.

Hazelwood is controlled by French group Engie with Japan's Mitsui and Co holding a minority 28 per cent stake. Engie , formerly known as GDF Suez, has been openly discussing the closure of the plant for several months.

Mounting speculation of the closure of the power plant pushed futures prices up a sharp $5 to $71 a megawatt hour for the June 2017 contract in both Victoria and NSW earlier Wednesday, with Victoria's prices moving in line with NSW.

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