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France keen to help PH develop nuclear energy
by Philippine Resources - July 28, 2022
Photo credit: Embassy of France to the Philippines and Micronesia - French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz
The French government is keen to help the Philippines develop its nuclear power program as the Marcos administration looks for other reliable sources of energy.
French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz said the embassy has met with some of the Cabinet members and nuclear power was listed among the key areas Paris and Manila could cooperate on.
"(T)here's obviously an interest. As I said, we have an experience and expertise in many different sectors of renewable energy, including the nuclear sector," Boccoz said at a reception in Makati City on Tuesday.
She said working on small modular reactors is "probably much more realistic" than reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
"I think that this is a thing of the past because the technologies have evolved so much that it wouldn't really make sense to work to build this kind of project and it's probably too big and it probably needs too much of the grid to be operational," she added.
"So having a sort of more modular systems is probably much more realistic and also in terms of the terrain here and the systemic risks and others. These are much smaller units that can be much more easily protected."
Boccoz, meanwhile, clarified that talks are still in the "very early stages" as Manila has to put in place a framework first.
In his first State of the Nation Address on July 25, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sought to re-examine the country's strategy towards building nuclear power plants in the Philippines.
"We will comply of course with the International Atomic Energy Agency regulations for nuclear power plants as they have been strengthened after Fukushima. In the area of nuclear power, there have been new technologies developed that allow smaller-scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations thereof," he said.
"Once again, PPPs (public-private partnerships) will play a part in support as funding in this period is limited."
France generates about 70 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants but plans to reduce this to 50 percent by 2035 as its shifts to more renewables, such as solar and wind.
Besides nuclear, Boccoz said, France is also beginning to have discussions on hydrogen and other renewable energy sources with the new administration. By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - May 02, 2022
Pursue nuclear energy to avert crisis: solon
Photo credit: The chair of the House Ways and Means Committee on Saturday stressed the need for the country to move towards nuclear energy generation amid "thinning power reserves" as baseload coal power plants continue to experience shutdowns. Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said there is no fuel cleaner than nuclear, which is also a more stable energy source run by a predictable fuel supply. Salceda said President Rodrigo Duterte is on the right path with the issuance of Executive Order 164, which aims to introduce nuclear energy into the country's energy mix, as this will address the high electricity rate and secure energy for the future. "And I can think of the ways we can complement that with good policy,” Salceda told reporters in a Viber message, as he proposed the franchise approach to nuclear energy. "I don’t want government spending money on it, given our fiscal issues. But we can collate a fiscal incentive package under the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) Law for a nuclear power investor. That will probably exceed the USD 1 billion threshold under that law, anyway,” he added. He described coal as the "dinosaur" of energy generation, given that it is cheap, simple, easy, but also outdated. Salceda added that coal power plants are "not exactly in top shape", adding that they are not following the Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP) procedures of the Department of Energy. "Over the past 30 days, half of our baseload plants have experienced shutdowns. When demand peaks, you’re going to get more of that. So, I’m definitely seeing a real possibility of rotating brownouts by May or June,” Salceda said. Salceda presented a “five-point plan” to combat an energy crisis, which included routine maintenance checks of the country’s power plants. He warned that “maintenance issues” could be a way for some generation firms to jack up prices. “Honestly, it’s getting frustrating. Like speaking to a wall. We already anticipated that these things will happen. And now, I’m making a prediction again that will probably take place if we don’t take action. If DOE (Department of Energy) doesn’t take action. Rotating brownouts by summer if we neglect maintenance issues among our baseload plants,” Salceda said. Through EO 164, the Chief Executive has recognized that nuclear power can be a reliable, cost-competitive, and environment-friendly source of energy based on the experience of highly developed countries. “For the country to achieve its sustained growth targets, it must ensure that it has a reliable, secure, sustainable, quality and affordable electricity supply, including sufficient reserve to guarantee that there will be no disruptions in the power supply,” the policy read. It added the use of nuclear energy will address the increasing demand for clean energy, rising by 4.4 percent annually, or an additional capacity of 68 gigawatts by 2040. The EO still included the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in the national nuclear program, but other nuclear power installations will be pursued. House Committee on Energy chair Juan Miguel Arroyo, for his part, said the panel has identified eight priority legislative measures and nine laws to be subject to the legislative oversight function of the committee to ensure adequate and affordable power and fuel in the country while continuing to find ways to further improve the local industry and economy. The priority legislative measures include the creation of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute; establishing the Regulatory Framework for the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industry; Electric Vehicle Industry Development; Energy Advocacy Council Office; Use of Microgrid Systems; Waste-to-Energy Technology; Downstream Natural Gas Industry Development; and Strengthening the Energy Regulatory Commission. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - May 26, 2022
Legal framework needed for gov’t to invest in nuclear power plant
Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said there is a need to amend the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to enable the government to invest in nuclear power plants. This, as the incoming administration has expressed its support in considering a nuclear power plant to be part of the country’s energy mix. “As of now, the government does not have the ability to put up conventional nuclear power plant because the National Power Corp. does not have mandate on this,” Erguiza said in Filipino during the Laging Handa public briefing Wednesday. With the privatization of the power sector under the EPIRA, the government could not enter into power generation. “But we can align together, with the drafting or putting up of the regulatory framework, we can amend our laws to include the government among those that can fund a nuclear power plant,” he added. Erguiza said that based on studies of the Korean Hydro Nuclear Power Company of South Korea and ROSATOM of Russia, they have found out that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) can still be rehabilitated. According to ROSATOM, an investment of around USD3 billion to USD4 billion is needed to revive the BNPP. Presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier mentioned that part of his energy agenda is to revive the BNPP to become an additional source of clean and cheap power. On the other hand, Erguiza said the government can invest in power generation using small modular reactors, the latest nuclear energy technology, in missionary areas that are not connected to the grid.
Philippine Resources - July 28, 2022
Time for PH to tap nuclear power source
Photo credit: IHS Markit Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Tuesday he will fully support the plan of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to explore the country’s potentials on nuclear energy as a cheap and reliable source. Marcos said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday that if the country wants to attract investors, both local and foreign, energy-level production must be increased. "Why not? We are one of the few countries that have not looked at the nuclear option in Southeast Asia. The countries that are developing nuclear power in Asia -- Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, even Singapore, are looking at the nuclear option, smaller nuclear power plants, and even Myanmar. We're already left behind," Zubiri said in an interview with a news channel. Despite being a renewable energy advocate, as evidenced by the Renewable Energy Act which he authored, Zubiri admitted that there are not enough efforts to produce the energy requirement the country needs over the next six years. "If you want to have an 8-percent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate, we better have an energy sector that is robust, that can deliver the power the different industries need to be able to power other programs and projects," he said. A nuclear power plant, Zubiri said, might take six years to develop starting from its infancy, but can deliver thousands of megawatts from a single plant. He said the facility must be built right, strong enough to withstand calamities, and away from earthquake faults. Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, a known environmentalist, said she is open to exploring the possibility of nuclear energy but it must be considered "clean energy". "I may not be an expert in nuclear energy. I am open to hearing discussions and consultations with various stakeholders and experts in science on nuclear energy. I have read that nuclear energy is said to be clean. However, what about the nuclear waste? I am interested to know how it will be handled. At the same time, the safety measures," she said. Senator Francis Tolentino is likewise in favor of nuclear energy, which he learned has zero emission. "President Marcos’ notion is that nuclear energy will provide greater means of support in uplifting the lives of our countrymen," he said. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, meanwhile, asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to brief legislators on whether nuclear energy must be injected in the country’s energy mix, especially in light of climate change. “We should request the Department of Energy to brief us, because that is a large sum of money to study the possibility, the risk, and the opportunities, the benefits to consumers and we have not seen the report of that study. To support the scientific-based approach, that study should be scientific and should be in the hands of the legislators because that would be a guiding document for us,” Gatchalian said, referring to the million-peso budget spent for studies. In his SONA, Marcos said he believes it is time to reexamine the country's strategy toward building nuclear power plants. He said it should be compliant with the regulations of the International Atomic Agency Regulations for Nuclear Power Plants which has been strengthened after the Fukushima Daiichi incident in Japan in 2011. Following a major earthquake, a 15-meter tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors. According to the World Nuclear Association, there have been no deaths or cases of radiation sickness from the nuclear accident but over 100,000 people were evacuated as a preventative measure. Official figures showed 2,313 disaster-related deaths among evacuees, in addition to the about 19,500 that were killed by the earthquake or tsunami. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
PHILEX MINING GEARS UP FOR EXPANSION, SIGNIFIES INTEREST IN MACAWIWILI
In photo at the signing of the term sheet between PMC and MGMDCI were: (seated, left to right) Felicisimo A. Feria, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Michael L. Escaler, all representing MGMDCI; Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman; and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., Philex President and CEO; (standing, left to right) Atty. Katrina Janine Sta. Ana, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Bryan George Manzano, Associate, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Michelle Carisse Balois, Partner, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; Atty. Daneia Isabelle Palad, Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Winston Cruz, Vice-President and General Counsel, Philex Mining Corporation; Romeo B. Bachoco, Senior Vice-President and Chief Finance Officer, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Marilyn A. Victorio-Aquino, Director, Philex Mining Corporation; Atty. Barbara Anne C. Migallos, Director and Corporate Secretary, Philex Mining Corporation and Partner, Migallos & Luna Law Offices; Atty. Raymond Francis Jamora, Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices; and Atty. Michael John Tantoco, Jr., Associate, Feria Tantoco Daos Law Offices. (PMC photo) Philex Mining Corporation, one of the oldest and largest copper and gold producers in Southeast Asia, recently set into motion its plans for expansion with the signing of a Term Sheet with Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. (“MGMDCI”) in simple ceremonies in Makati City. Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co., Inc. is a 90-year old company engaged in mineral exploration and production in Itogon, Benguet. With over 800 hectares of contract area under its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement, the Company has been exploring various mineral deposits, including gold and copper, for several decades. The Term Sheet outlines the parties’ clear intentions to explore commercial, financial, and technical avenues in preparation for possible shares acquisition by the Company in MGMDCI. Activities to kick off this partnership will include conduct of due diligence and scout drilling activities on the property of MGMDCI covered by Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in Itogon, Benguet Province., located adjacent to the existing Padcal Mine of the Company. Signing the Term Sheet on behalf of the Company were Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, and Eulalio B. Austin Jr., President and CEO; while representing the shareholders of MGMDCI were Michael G. Escaler, Jose Ma. S. Lopez, and Felicisimo A. Feria. The signing was also witnessed by directors and officers of the Company as well as counsel for both parties. “Our interest to pursue investments in the Macawiwili property” according to Eulalio B. Austin, Jr., President and CEO, “is part of our business direction for this year to broaden interest in ‘green metals’ through mergers and acquisitions.” “We need to hit the ground with this at the soonest possible time,” Austin adds, “considering that this property is adjacent to our Padcal mine and would go a long way in fulfilling company plans for expansion and extension of the life-of-mine of Padcal. “This is a good addition or extension to the Padcal Mine,” according to Manuel V. Pangilinan, Philex Chairman. “I hope that this is the start of something good and that it would ride the wave of higher metal prices in gold and copper.” Pangilinan emphasized that “any addition, expansion, or extension to the Padcal Mine would greatly benefit not just our employees and their families, but also our host and neighboring communities, and our nation as a whole.” Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DMCI Holdings, SMPC among best governed PLCs
Photo caption (left to right): SMPC Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager Joseph D. Susa, DMCI Holdings Board Advisor and SMPC Independent Director Honorio O. Reyes-Lao and SMPC SVP, Chief Risk, Compliance and Performance Officer Junalina S. Tabor. Diversified engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings and its energy subsidiary Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) were among the Philippine listed companies recognized for their corporate governance performance by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). DMCI Holdings received the 2 Golden Arrow recognition while SMPC was awarded the 3 Golden Arrow recognition. Both have been ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) Golden Arrow awardees since 2019. The awards were conferred after the two companies exhibited observable conformance with the Philippine Code of Corporate Governance and internationally recommended corporate governance practices as espoused by the ACGS. The ACGS measures the performance of the companies in the areas of facilitating the rights and the equitable treatment of shareholders, how they relate to their different stakeholders, ensuring transparency and accountability through timely disclosure of material information, and how the board guides the company strategically, monitors the management, and ensures the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders. Over 80 Philippine listed companies were feted during the in-person awarding ceremony in Sheraton Manila Hotel last January 20. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - January 30, 2023
DOTr to prevent more delays in PNR Clark Phase 2 project
Photo credit: DOTr The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will work closely with the contractor of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 2 project to ensure that issues are addressed after its projected completion date was delayed by eight months. In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said the project, initially slated for completion in June 2024, has been delayed until June 2025 due to the delay in the turnover of the land to project contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction. “Before the 36-hectare site was turned over by the government to POSCO, several fruit-bearing trees were cut down, causing the delay,” it said. About 48 buildings and facilities are expected to be built by POSCO at the project site, meant to be the Clark Depot of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR). “As of December 31, 2022, more than 33% of the planned construction has been completed,” it said. In addition to buildings and facilities, the Clark Depot will have 33 stabling tracks to serve as the parking areas for the trains and 12 other tracks to access maintenance facilities. During a site visit at the project site, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Clark Depot is where the operations control center will be located which will serve as the “heart of operations” of the rail service. “It is important that we complete this as planned and on time. I know that there are issues that need to be resolved. The DOTr will work closely with [the contractor], so we can fix problems and address issues,” Bautista said. The 53-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the NSCR and will link multiple cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project is seen to cut travel time between Malolos City in Bulacan province and Clark, Pampanga province from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes. This part of the NSCR also includes the Airport Railway Express Service that will connect Makati to the Clark International Airport through a 55-minute train ride. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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