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First generators go down at Hazelwood

 

The first of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station's generators are being shut down in preparation for the closure of the business.

The progressive shutdown of the plant's eight generators will start with three closing on Monday, another three on Tuesday and the final two on Wednesday.

The entire business will close on Friday, March 31.

Hazelwood has operated for more than 52 years and supplies up to 25 per cent of Victoria's energy, employing 450 people directly and another 300 contractors.

In November French majority owner Engie announced the station's closure because the plant was no longer economically viable and the company is moving away from coal globally.

The closure is expected to devastate the Latrobe Valley economy.

Last week the Latrobe City Council called for more state and federal government funding to help the region through the closure, claiming its economy will be dented by $340 million and the loss of 1862 jobs.

The council's appeal came the same day former Prime Minister Tony Abbott used a newspaper column to suggest a government bailout for the plant - a call current Prime Minsiter Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed.