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Notorious power station demolished

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Victoria’s defunct Hazelwood Power Station has been demolished in an explosion, with site owner Engie assuring that asbestos inside its chimneys will not be a threat.

Eight chimneys at Victoria's defunct, coal-fired Hazelwood Power Station have been demolished.

The chimneys, which soared 137 metres above the town of Morwell in the Latrobe Valley, came down just before 12.30pm today.

Owner Engie provided a live stream of the chimney demolition, which took about a minute and was viewed by thousands.

The chimneys were built in the 1960s and operated for more than half a century before the brown coal-fuelled power station was shut down in March 2017.

There is about 50kg of asbestos in each chimney and about 12 tonnes of concrete, which will be monitored following the demolition in line with Victorian environment laws.

Engie said its ultimate goal is to rehabilitate the 4000-hectare site.

The site has been a headache for the Latrobe Valley community since 2014, when a bushfire spread to the coal mine and burned for 45 days.

Hazelwood Power Corporation was fined $1.56 million last week in the Supreme Court of Victoria for putting employees and nearby residents at risk by failing to prepare for the fire.

The chimneys were blown up one by one within minutes.

There is about 50kg of asbestos in each chimney and about 12 tonnes of concrete.

Community members voiced concerns about the spread of asbestos from the explosions during the live Facebook forum.

Mr McDowall said the detonations would not fragment the asbestos and that it would stay contained upon demolition.

"It's a bonded product, it's not a fragmentation product, it's secure within its structure," he said.

"It then hits the ground and becomes an asbestos product on the ground."

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Care was taken to conduct the demolition in prime weather conditions - a south-east to north-east direction with low wind speed - to control dust and plume from the explosions.

The site will be monitored for asbestos following the demolition in line with state laws.

Engie has been managing a process of retiring the brown-coal fuelled power station since it closed in 2017, with the ultimate goal to rehabilitate the 4000 hectare site.

The site has been a headache for the Latrobe Valley community since 2014, when a bushfire spread to the coal mine and burned for 45 days.

Hazelwood Power Corporation was fined $1.56 million on Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Victoria for putting employees and nearby residents at risk by failing to prepare for the fire.

- With AAP reporting

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/hazelwood-power-station-demolition-victoria/65f5533e-dea0-4164-b204-fb326a79d4fa

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