Hydro Tasmania says the axing of the carbon tax is partly to blame for a decision to cut around 100 jobs.
The power producer says profits are expected to fall to less than 10 per cent of current levels in 2014/15.
It will result in a nine per cent cut to Hydro’s workforce and around 16 per cent at its consulting arm Entura.
A range of factors are to blame, the company says, including softening demand in the national electricity market, recent uncertainty about the Renewable Energy Target and the repeal of the carbon price.
During last year’s federal and state election campaigns, Labor and Greens politicians warned Hydro’s renewable energy windfall would be hit by $70 million a year if the carbon tax went.
Hydro more than doubled its pre-tax profit to a record $238 million in 2012-13 and paid a dividend to the cash-strapped Tasmanian government of $116 million.
“While the business has provided strong returns to government over recent years, and is again on track to return a record underlying profit this year, the financial outlook for the next few years is challenging,” a company statement said.
“In the 2014-15 financial year, it’s expected that profits will fall below $20 million, less than one-tenth of current levels.”
Fifty jobs will go from Hydro itself, while Entura’s workforce of 350 will be also cut by around 50.
Voluntary redundancies have already been offered, with natural attrition and forced lay-offs set to complete the cuts within the next two months.
The Hydro group employs a total workforce of 1092 people.
Tasmanian Energy Minister Matthew Groom said it would be wrong to solely blame the carbon tax repeal.
“I would express genuine caution in suggesting that these job losses at Hydro are a result of a particular factor,” Mr Groom told reporters.
“There’s a whole range of factors. The carbon tax didn’t exist two years ago.
“To suggest that these job losses are a result of a single factor I think is an over-simplification.”
Mr Groom said axing the tax would relieve cost-of-living pressures in the state.