The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands is once again pushing for the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in order to speed up the country’s economic progress through industrialization.
In a report by The Standard, CCPI president Jose Luis Yulo said kick-starting the BNPP will help create more job opportunities and cut down the country’s electricity costs.
“The chamber supports the operation of the nuclear power plant in Bataan to accelerate the economic progress of the country through industrialization,” the group said.
“Vietnam is presently constructing two plants while other countries in East and South Asia are looking into nuclear plants as an additional source of energy. In Asean, the Philippines, from being number one is now number five in per capita income. Without nuclear, Vietnam and other Asian/ASEAN countries will overtake us,” it added.
There are 31 nuclear power plants in operation globally with 65 more in construction, CCPI added.
CCPI also told the government to look at plants similar to the BNPP that are safely operating in Korea, Slovenia, and Brazil for over 30 years.
“The mothballed BNPP since 1984 can add over 600 megawatts of electric power to the Philippines grid when made operational,” it said.
Earlier, the Department of Energy (DOE) said that they are inviting experts from various countries to input their assessments on the BNPP by January to February next year.
“The study is already ongoing. I think by the end of the year, we should know already the steps that we will be undertaking,” DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
Cusi said that they expect a clearer direction in restarting the Bataan Nuclear plant by the end of the year.
“We cannot just open a nuclear plant. For us to be able to follow that, we need people that are knowledgeable,” he said.
Last month, Cusi said that President Rodrigo Duterte gave him the go-signal in rehabilitating the mothballed plant in Bataan.
DOE said that an estimated $1 billion is needed for the rehabilitation of the BNPP.