Nuclear Plant Conversion Studied; Natural Gas Plan for Idle Bataan Facility Mulled
Byline: FERDIE MAGLALANG
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered yesterday the Department of Energy (DoE) to conduct a study on the feasibility of converting the long-mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) into a natural gas power plant.
Deputy presidential spokesman Ricardo Saludo said President Arroyo has instructed Energy Secretary Vince Perez and other officials to do the study and recommend the feasibility of using an alternative energy source for BNPP.
"Ito ay bagay na mainam na ipaubaya sa DoE. Magkakaroon sila ng rekomendasyon kung kailangan (This matter is best left to the DoE. It will have their recommendations (to the President) if necessary," he said in a radio interview.
The proposal to convert the BNPP into a natural gas power plant was part of the Arroyo administrations agenda to ensure energy security as prices of crude oil and other petroleum products skyrocket.
By operating the BNPP, government hopes to reduce the cost of electricity in the short-term and put a brake on the zooming prices of basic commodities in the long-term.
Saludo said Perez and other officials were also told to determine if the BNPP conversion plan would add to the swelling fiscal deficit or not. …