Romualdez hails PBBM’s efforts to secure cheaper, reliable energy

By Jose Cielito Reganit

May 2, 2023, 2:43 pm

<p>File photo</p>

File photo

MANILA – Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday (US time) lauded the unrelenting effort of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to fulfill his promise of providing cheaper and reliable power to Filipinos following a meeting with a US-based top nuclear energy firm in Washington, D.C.

According to a news release from the Speaker’s office, Oregon-based NuScale Power Corporation, which designs and markets small modular reactors (SMRs), said during the meeting that it is planning to conduct a study to locate a suitable site for its system in the Philippines.

NuScale is expected to invest USD6.5 billion to USD7.5 billion to provide 430MW to the Philippines by 2031.

“This positive development proves the unrelenting commitment of President Marcos to fulfill his promise to the Filipino people of ensuring the availability of cheap and reliable energy,” said Romualdez, one of the Filipino officials who joined the President during the meeting.

Romualdez noted that in the first State of the Nation Address Marcos, the Chief Executive vowed that energy will be a “key sector” in his administration’s push for economic growth and increased employment.

“Adequate and cheaper energy source of power is crucial to sustaining our robust economic growth. But the President is very much aware that building additional energy generation capacity takes years to accomplish and it is prudent that we should continuously explore alternatives -- including the use of nuclear power -- to achieve this goal,” Romualdez said.

The President’s meeting Monday with NuScale builds on the initial discussions held in their first talks in September last year in New York on the sidelines of his participation at the United Nations General Assembly.

Romualdez described the meeting with NuScale as “very promising” since SMR is the first and only one of its kind to receive design approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The company has existing projects in Utah, Romania, Indonesia and Poland providing safe, reliable and cost competitive clean energy to consumers.

Among the NuScale officials present in the meeting were Clayton Scott, executive vice president for business, and Cheryl Collins, director for sales. Nuscale was accompanied by local partner Enrique Razon, representing Prime Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (Prime Infra).

Apart from Romualdez, other Philippine government officials who joined the President in the business meeting were former President-turned senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

“On our end at the House of Representatives, we are working hard to pass measures that would provide the necessary legal framework and policies to encourage the development of alternative power sources in support of the President’s vision for our nation’s energy security,” Romualdez assured.

Last March, the House Committee on Nuclear Energy voted to approve a consolidated substitute bill for a comprehensive atomic regulatory framework, creating for the purpose the Philippine Atomic Regulatory Commission.

Among others, Romualdez also cited the approval of the Waste-to-Energy Bill, which is among the 23 priority measures the House has approved from the 31 bills identified by the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC) as priority measures of the Marcos administration.

Likewise, there are several measures in the House currently undergoing committee deliberation that seek, among others, to promote the uses of clean and renewable energy such as solar or wind power. (PNA)