South Korea firm mulls review of BNPP feasibility study

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — State-owned power generation firm Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) is willing to update their 2017 pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant as it expressed keen interest to participate in the Philippine government’s push to add nuclear power generation into its energy mix.

Younghwan Choi, KHNP senior manager for overseas nuclear business section, said they are ready to update their previous studies upon official request by the Philippine government.

Choi pointed out that conducting an updated pre-feasibility study entails a lot of resources.

“The costs for the first and the second pre-feasibility studies were covered by the KHNP and a considerable number of man-hours were required,”  Choi told The STAR.

“If a detailed project plan is established and there is an official request from the government of the Philippines to update the pre-feasibility study conducted in 2017, we believe we will be able to participate in the study,”  Choi said.

The South Korean firm had undertaken the first pre-feasibility study on the rehabilitation of the BNPP in 2008 in partnership with the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

The 2017 pre-feasibility study, meanwhile, was conducted in a cooperation agreement with the Department of Energy.

Choi said the KHNP was interested in any effort to rehabilitate the BNPP and even a possible ‘greenfield’ development of a small to large-sized nuclear power plant.

“KHNP is ready to participate in nuclear power plant projects in the Philippines, ranging from rehabilitation of the Bataan nuclear plant to building small and large-sized nuclear plants,”  he said.

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute is eyeing the KHNP as a viable partner for the Philippines as it starts a serious push to build nuclear power generation capacity in the country either by rehabilitating the BNPP or building initially small modular nuclear power plants.

“KHNP is currently operating 24 units in Korea and four separate units are under construction,”  Choi said.

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