PPB Advisory, the Liquidator of Energy Brix Australia Corporation Pty Ltd (EBAC), has confirmed it has suspended the demolition of the old power station and briquette factory in Morwell while an Interim Protection Order (IPO) is in place.
On Monday 27 March, the Heritage Council of Victoria (HCV) issued an IPO in respect of the site allowing HCV to assess it for inclusion in the Heritage Register.
Barry Dungey, the General Manager handling the EBAC remediation, said the liquidator had commenced discussions with HCV to explain the status of the site remediation, the demolition process and the consequences of the IPO on EBAC remediation plans and to arrange access for their assessment team as soon as possible.
Mr Dungey said the demolition had been due to commence later this month.
“We recognise that this facility is of significant interest to the Morwell community and people are concerned about the prospect of an important part of their industrial heritage disappearing,” Mr Dungey said.
“We are working with the community and HCV to ensure the appropriate process is followed.”
Mr Dungey, who has 25 years’ experience in the Australian electricity generation and mining sector, is a long-term resident of the Latrobe Valley.
He said that in recognition of the historical value of the site, over the past 12 months the Liquidator has worked with local historical groups to give them access to materials they consider valuable. A website has been established for people wanting to remain up to date with developments at the site, including photographs and videos of the plant prior to demolition: www.ebacdemolition.com.au
Mr Dungey explained the site remains closed due to safety risks because of the large amount of hazardous material and asbestos and the risk of falling debris from the derelict buildings.
Ian Carson, Stephen Longley and Craig Crosbie of PPB Advisory were appointed Administrators of EBAC and its parent company, HRL Limited, in October 2015 and subsequently Liquidators on 2 June 2016.
It costs approximately $80,000 a month to maintain the site in its current state.
EBAC, which had manufactured briquettes for use in the Hazelwood Power Station, ceased production in 2014. The Liquidator plans to demolish the buildings and remediate the site, eventually returning the 92-hectare site to industrial or farm land.
Demolition was to commence this month, with the first phase of remediation due for completion by December 2017.
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