The Department of Energy (DOE) has thrown its support behind moves to construct a coal-fired power plant within the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) facility in Morong, Bataan.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said as long as the coal-fired power plant proposed by the Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) is at a safe distance from the BNPP, he will endorse it.
The Kepco has expressed interest to put up a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant beside the mothballed nuclear power facility.
The P2.3-billion BNPP, with a capacity of 600 MW, was built between 1976 and 1984 on a 357-hectare government property at Napot Point in Morong.
Petilla said the proposed Kepco coal-fired power plant will bring additional electric supply to meet the energy demands of the country.
Although there are other sources of energy, the DOE chief added, these are quite expensive compared with the coal-fired power plant.
“If we don’t allow its [coal-fired power plant’s] construction, we will not be having additional supply. The wind, solar and other renewable sources are fine but they are quite expensive,” he noted.
To prevent opposition to the Kepco proposal, Petilla said they will be consulting first with local stakeholders including local government officials and the community before exploring the technical aspects of the plan.
The Bataan nuclear property is owned by the Department of Finance (DOF).
The DOF is waiting for the endorsement of the Energy department before it decides on whether it will enter into a long-term lease contract or purchase agreement with Kepco.
Petilla assured the proponent that the DOE will help them get the necessary environmental permits but the company sh ould get the necessary clearances.