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32

Mothballed Nuclear Plant Looks for a Purpose

Rehabilitation or alternative use sought for ageing structure...

State-run Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) is hoping to find an investor that will either rehabilitate or offer an alternative use for its mothballed nuclear power plant in Bataan.

"We are on the lookout for someone who might offer a viable alternative," PNOC President Thelmo Y. Cunanan said.

The 600-megawatt nuclear power plant was built in 1977 by the Marcos government with money borrowed from the US Export-Import Bank. But it was never commissioned because of safety and health concerns.

Earlier, PNOC expressed interest to operate the plant, but was eventually discouraged by the high cost of converting it to other fuels.

Even state-run National Power Corp., before it turned over the plant to the national government, discarded plans to convert it since there was excess electricity supply in Luzon at that time.

But some investors have expressed interest to turn the Bataan plant into a standby power generator.