BALANGA CITY, Bataan -- A 600-megawatt (MW) thermal power plant will be put up here to meet Bataan province’s increasing power demand, Governor Albert Garcia said the project will be under a public-private partnership with Hanjo Group Manufacturing, Inc. of Seoul, Korea.

“Aside from job creation and development it will give Bataan, the thermal power plant is a clean source of energy. As demand for energy increases, it is good to know that our partners think clean and green,” the governor said during the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOU) between the Korean firm and the provincial government of Bataan on Thursday.

The project reportedly has an investment of about USD1 billion and would employ 10,000 workers during the construction phase.

Garcia said there is no specific date on the start of the construction of the thermal power plant.

"We are expediting the process so that the thermal power plant will be built immediately. Likewise, there is no specific site on where it will be put. It is still under study," the governor said.

When asked if they will bring in Korean workers, Kibum Kim, one of the investors, said, “No, no, I don’t think so. We will get workers here. Filipino workers are very good in technical side.”

Garcia thanked the Koreans and Japanese partner, Chris Takayama, Hanjo chief finance officer, for selecting Bataan.

“Hope this will be the start of something big for Bataan,” the governor said.

Hak Joo Choi, Hanjo chief operating officer, was all praise for the province.

“Bataan is a real gold in Central Luzon,” he said through an interpreter.

He spelled the importance of the project.

“This is in response to the increasing demand for electricity in the next five years and to expand the capacity of the Philippine Energy,” he added.

The planned thermal power plant will be in addition to coal power plants already operational and some still under construction in Limay and Mariveles towns. (PNA)