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Hydro Tasmania cutting workforce

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Hydro Tasmania will reduce the size of its workforce by 9% to "better manage the financial and market challenges it faces in the next few years," the Australian utility and hydropower project operator said in a statement.

The company said it expects profits in the 2014-15 fiscal year will fall below about US$18.9 million, which is less than a tenth of current levels.

Hydro Tasmania said the turnaround was first flagged at the release of the past year's financial results and is the "result of a range of factors", including "the softening demand in the National Electricity Market and the effect of the repeal of the price on carbon market prices, uncertainty about the future of the Renewable Energy Target, the impact of the energy reform process and the ongoing downturn in the consulting market".

The utility is already implementing what it says are "business-wide process improvements", with an internal restructuring having been under way for the past three months.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy previously requested expressions of interest from employees for voluntary redundancies, the company said, "and a number of people had left as a result".

Hydro Tasmania will now rely on voluntary redundancies, attrition and compulsory redundancies to reduce a further 50 positions, the company said. The process is expected to be completed with the next two months.

The utility currently employees 1,092 people.

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