Investments from foreign players keen to do business in the Philippines will push the country to embrace nuclear power, a senior AC Energy official said on Wednesday.
“I think the best bet in terms of a potential strategy for the Philippines is to get foreign investors because they are the ones, especially the incumbents, who are experienced in terms of investing in nuclear,” said AC Energy President Eric Francia at a forum titled âThe Sustainable Future of Energy in Renewable Energy and Nuclearâ.
âThe hurdle they have to overcome is doing business in the Philippines, the market conditions, etc.â But I’d be curious to hear what international nuclear investors say about entering the Philippines.
The Philippine energy plan already foresees the inclusion of nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix by 2030. The interagency committee of the energy program will conduct a study on the adoption by the country of a national position on an energy program nuclear.
Carlo Arcilla, director of the Philippine Nuclear Institute, said there should be a national position, signed by President Duterte, stating that the country is ready to embrace nuclear power. “Without this signature, we will not go anywhere.”
Francia observed that industry stakeholders are reluctant to pursue nuclear power, citing the risks of operating a nuclear power plant. âThe decisive factor is risk management. It is this âwhat ifâ scenario. If something goes wrong, it could be catastrophic not only for the community where the nuclear power plant is located, but also for the sponsoring company. It is fear. This is the risk management factor.
Whereas with coal or gas, if something goes wrong, the worst case is probably management or is less severe than nuclear. So stigma, fear or risk is something that companies are concerned about, âFrancia said.
For Arcilla, it would be “irresponsible” not to even consider nuclear even if it is only a possibility. “If we do not consider nuclear in the equation and we remove coal, there is no way to escape the fact that electricity prices will rise because we have to import the replacement gas from Malampaya gas. . “
Nuclear power prices, he added, could represent “about half” of current electricity tariffs.
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi highlighted the potential contribution of nuclear power to efforts to accelerate the achievement of a secure and sustainable energy future for the Philippines.
“It is high time that the feasibility of safe use of nuclear power to meet our energy needs was considered,” Cusi said. “We could be on par with our more developed regional neighbors like South Korea, which benefited from the development of its own national nuclear power program despite the economic challenges it faced at the time.”
In December of last year, the Interagency Committee for the Nuclear Energy Program (NEP-IAC) chaired by the DOE submitted to the President’s office its initial report approving the adoption of a national position for a nuclear energy program. nuclear energy.