BNPP conversion mulled


The government will look into proposals to convert the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) into a natural gas-powered facility to ease the country’s growing demand for energy, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Tuesday.

“Mainam na pag-aralan ang panukalang iyan, kung ito ay posible at kapaki-pakinabang [That proposal should be studied to find out if its possible],” Coloma said when asked if the government is willing to consider a proposal in Congress to convert the mothballed nuclear plant into a gas-fired plant.

The suggestion to convert the BNPP had been raised before, Coloma said, adding that there is a need to reassess a previous study to know if the proposal is viable for the government and interested investors.

Proponents of the conversion of the BNPP have said that operating the plant would be easy because the country has natural gas in Palawan.

Instead of spending P26 million annually on the plant’s maintenance, the government could convert it to produce 1,800 megawatts of power, they noted.

“Ito ay naimungkahi ng ibang mga private investors, at dahil sa mga kadahilanang ito ay napapanahon na bigyan ito muli ng masusing pag-aaral [This proposal has been made by private investors and perhaps it is timely to thoroughly study it],” Coloma said.

A South Korean firm has also reportedly shown interest in converting the BNPP into a coal-powered plant.         PNA


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