Government rules out Bataan nuclear plant revival-A A +A
Friday, March 30, 2012
MANILA (Updated 8:32 p.m.) -- Malacanang ruled out Friday the revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) to address the power shortage in the country.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the disaster in Japan where the Fukushima power plant was crippled due to tsunami that hit the country in March last year further strengthened the government's decision not to use the BNPP, which during the latter part of the Arroyo administration was considered to be revived.
"They studied it that time but in the light of the incident in Japan, the Fukushima incident in Japan, we have to restudy the whole issue on nuclear energy. The safety concerns are there," he said.
Asked if the revival of the BNPP would no longer be entertained, he said, "so far, we are not considering it now."
The revival of the mothballed power plant came in the wake of the power shortage in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Lacierda said the power barges that were dispatched in Mindanao will only be used to supply electricity during peak hours to make the power cost in the region less expensive.
"Now, the power barges are expensive if it’s used the whole time, and it’s not going to be used the whole 12 hours; it’s going to be used at its peak hours and so that’s the reason why its costing will not be as high as feared. But certainly, if you want to have power, you have to pay for power," he said.
Two power barges with 200-megawatt (MW) capacity were dispatched in Mindanao.
Lacierda also said that there were intentions from the private sector to construct power plants with 750MW generation capacity in the region.
But the spokesman said there should be approval first from the stakeholders, including the local government officials.
"They're willing to invest 750MW, but again, it's going through the process of approval and it's good that Secretary (Jesse) Robredo (of the Department of Interior and Local Government) will be there and will be with Secretary (Jose Rene) Almendras (of the Department of Energy) and Lu Antonino (of the Mindanao Development Authority) to discuss," he said.
"This is really a concern for the people of Mindanao but we need to make sure that all the stakeholders including local government officials will be also on board in the situation," he added.
President Benigno Aquino III will go to Mindanao after the Holy Week to attend the energy summit where power situation in the region will be discussed along with the different stakeholders. (SDR/Sunnex)