By: Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) – June 7, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Several Korean companies have expressed interest in investing in the Philippine power industry, including the possible development of a 100-megawatt (MW) modular nuclear power plant in northern Luzon, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

DOE Secrtary Alfonso Cusi joined President Duterte in his official visit to Korea.

During the Philippines-Korea Business forum and luncheon hosted by the Korean business community, the energy chief received letters of intent (LOIs) from several Korean companies for possible investments in the country’s energy sector.

These companies include Korean firms SK Engineering & Construction, Sy Enc Co. Ltd., BKS Energy Industry Ltd., and SK E&S.

SK Engineering & Construction proposed a coal-fired power plant development, while renewable energy firms Sy Enc and BKS Energy have pitched to develop wind and solar power projects, respectively.

Meanwhile, SK E&S made a proposal to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal hub.

The DOE plans to start the construction of the country’s LNG hub by mid-2019 amid the anticipated depletion of the Malampaya gas facility in 2024. The Malampaya plant supports over 3,000 MW of gas-fired power plants.

The Philippines is envisioned to become an LNG hub for Asia, complementing those in Japan and Singapore.

In another meeting, Cusi, together with DOE Undersecretary Donato Marcos and DOE Assistant Secretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr., met with officials of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) led by its president and CEO Chung Jae Hoon to discuss possible nuclear power investments.

“During the discussions, DOE and KHNP explored energy cooperation endeavors, including the possibility of conducting a feasibility study on the establishment of a small, 100-MW modular reactor in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority,” the DOE said.

Cusi earlier said the use of nuclear power remains to be a viable long-term energy option for the Philippines based on results of a technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.