THE government would need US$1 billion to rehabilitate the more than 20-year-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Froilan Tampinco, president of state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor), said Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco), the company they commissioned to conduct feasibility study on the possible re-powering of BNPP, estimated the cost of the rehabilitation to be at US$1 billion.

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Tampinco said they are reviewing the cost estimate submitted by Kepco before presenting it to the Napocor board for further action. “We are currently evaluating it prior to submission to the Napocor Board.”

The Napocor chief said they expect this report to be submitted and be discussed within the board meeting next month.

Last December, Kepco completed the feasibility study and the results said that BNPP can be rehabilitated.

Tampinco earlier said that should the cost of the rehabilitation would be expensive they rather opt to build a new plant.

Napocor has allocated P100 million budget for the feasibility study.

The government is looking at reviving the BNPP to address the looming power shortage expected to take place this year.

Constructed in 1976, the BNPP was built during the term of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in response to the energy crisis that hit the country in the

1970s.

The plant was valued at P21.2 billion or US$460 billion but the total cost of the plant after it was completed in 1984 was US$ 2.3 billion only.

House Bill 6300 sponsored by Representative Mark Cojuangco's proposed the rehabilitation of the BNPP.

Cojuangco said to rehabilitate the BNPP the government would need US$1 billion.

He said the power that would be generated from BNPP be cheaper at P2.50 per kWh lower than the current rate of the Napocor pegged at P4.50 to P5 per kWh. (MSN/Sunnex)