Time for PH to tap nuclear power source
by Philippine Resources - July 28, 2022
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. By Wilnard Bacelonia
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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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
France keen to help PH develop nuclear energy
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
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
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Philippine Resources - March 21, 2023
PBBM boosts transport sector thru big-ticket projects
Photo credit: Department of Transportation Several big-ticket infrastructure projects in the transportation sector have been approved or are already being implemented by the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reported Monday. In a statement, the DOTr said the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project, Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, EDSA Greenways, the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) West Extension, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension are all ongoing as of March 9 according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). These projects are among the 67 infrastructure flagship projects (IFP) that have been greenlit or are already underway out of the 194 high-impact projects under Marcos’ "Build Better More" program. In the rail sector, these approved and ongoing projects include the Metro Manila Subway Phase 1, Mindanao Rail Phase 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) rehabilitation, Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT-4), Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), New Cebu International Container Port, New Manila International Airport (Bulacan International Airport), North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul, and the Subic Clark Railway. The New Dumaguete Airport Development Project (Bacong International Airport) and the Integrated Flood Resilience and Adaptation (InFRA) Phase 1 have also both been approved by NEDA, with six projects awaiting approval. Last week, the NEDA Board, led by Marcos, approved 194 high-impact priority projects with a total cost of around PHP9 trillion. The board also approved amendments to the 2013 Joint Venture guidelines to support the government’s push for more investments in the country’s infrastructure. PNR suspension Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda has expressed alarm over an impending suspension of select PNR routes due to the NSCR, saying it will affect thousands of commuters, mostly students and workers. “The welfare of the riding public should always be prioritized yet it remains to be seen whether such proposed solutions would effectively and sufficiently address the riding public's urgent demands in time for the imminent suspension of the operations of the PNR,“ Legarda said in her explanatory note on Senate Resolution No. 546. The PNR plans to suspend operations of certain routes for up to five years to facilitate the faster construction of the 55-kilometer NSCR. The construction will start in May and PNR may suspend the routes between Governor Pascual in Malabon City and Calamba City in Laguna, and well as Alabang, Muntinlupa City to Calamba. The Tutuban, Manila-Alabang route will be suspended in October and will affect between 20,000 and 25-000 passengers daily. Legarda urged the Committee on Public Order, chaired by Senator Grace Poe, to look into the impending suspension and come up with alternative solutions. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - March 21, 2023
Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. signs purchase agreement with Baosteel Resources for 1.5 million WMT
Photo credit: Global Ferronickel Holdings Global Ferronickel Holdings, Inc. (FNI), has just signed an Annual Purchase Agreement with Baosteel Resources International Co. Ltd. for the supply of 1.5 million WMT of nickel ore for the 2023 mining season. The nickel ore will be coming from FNI’s operating mines in Surigao del Norte and Palawan, operated by Platinum Group Metals Corporation (PGMC) and Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC), respectively. “Our two operating mines have given us the ability to undertake year-round production to better support the growing demand from China. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the robust growth of China’s property sector that is driving the need for stainless steel will help boost the nickel industry,” said Dante R. Bravo, FNI President. Should stockpile inventory permit, one-third of the shipment will be composed of lowgrade nickel ore with 0.90% nickel content and 49% iron content while the remainder will be medium- to high- grade nickel ore with 1.30%-1.60% nickel content and 15%- 25% iron content. The selling price of each shipment will be set on a monthly basis according to the prevailing market price at the time of price setting. Baosteel Resources International Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the top Chinese steel manufacturing corporation China Baowu Steel Group and is engaged in the business of mineral resource investment, trading, and logistics services. Notably, the company highly specializes on trading of metallurgic raw material with annual volume of over 60 million tons covering a vast range of products such as iron, ore, coal, alloys, non-ferrous metals, ferrous scraps, metallurgical flux, etc. Baosteel Resources maintains over 100 overseas suppliers and over 40 overseas clients. The Company’s headquarters is located in Hong Kong with footprints in Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, and several others. Article courtesy of the Philippine Stock Exchange
Philippine Resources - March 21, 2023
Celsius enters into initial binding deed and agreement with local companies to progress MCB Project
Photo: Signing of Binding Deed and Agreement (Left to right: PMR Holding Corp. President Dan Chalmers, CLA Chairman and MMCI President Atty. Julito “Sarge” Sarmiento, Sodor, Inc. President Ms. Erika Chalmers, and CLA Executive Director and MMCI Country Operations Director, Peter Hume). Celsius Resources Limited is pleased to announce that on 17 March 2023 the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Makilala Holding Limited ("MHL"), entered into a binding deed with Sodor, Inc. for Sodor to acquire a 60% legal ownership in Makilala Mining Company, Inc. (“MMCI”) for consideration of PHP 300 million (approximately A$8.2 million as at the date of this announcement), on terms and conditions described in the following paragraphs. The signing of the Deed is a significant milestone as it will enable MMCI to apply for an MPSA for the MCB Project with the Philippine Government. As previously advised by the Company, under Philippine law, an MPSA must be held by a company that is at least 60% Filipino owned. In addition, the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries MHL, MMCI, and PDEP Inc. (“PDEP”) entered into an accompanying binding letter agreement with Sodor and its affiliate PMR Holding Corp. (“PMR”) (together, the “Parties”) to agree on the timeline for, and that delivery to Sodor Inc. of share certificates representing 60% of MMCI’s outstanding shares pursuant to the Deed shall be made only after, the funding by Sodor Inc. and PMR of approximately ~US$43 million for a 30% economic interest in the MCB Project ("Funding Commitment"). 3 The MCB Project will be composed of MMCI and PDEP, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Celsius. The Parties shall rescind the Deed if Sodor and PMR are not able to provide the Funding Commitment within two years from signing, unless the period is shortened or extended by mutual agreement of the Parties. As at the date of this announcement the amount of the Funding Commitment, which is inclusive of the MMCI Consideration, is approximate as the Parties will confirm the size and timing of payment of the Funding Commitment following completion of a bankable feasibility study on the MCB Project. Provision of the Funding Commitment also remains subject to completion of negotiation and execution of binding definitive long form legal documentation. The Philippine Government has otherwise advised MMCI that it has met all of the other technical requirements to obtain the MCB Project’s required environmental and mining permits. Celsius Non-Executive Chairman and MMCI Chairman and President, Atty Julito R. Sarmiento, commented: “We are indeed honored to have Sodor Inc. as our local partner in our vision to develop the MCB Project as a model for Transformative Mining in the Philippines. Our principles and visions are aligned, which is a powerful step towards developing and operating the MCB Project in a responsible and sustainable manner benefitting both our shareholders and local stakeholders. It has always been our commitment, particularly to the Balatoc Tribal Community, that central to the mine development is cultural respect, social development, and environmental protection. Sodor Inc. shares the same commitment, and is thus a perfect partner in developing the MCB Project.” Article courtesy of Celsius Resources. The full press release can be found HERE
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