Philippines President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr held a meeting with executives of US NuScale Power Corporation on the sidelines of a working visit to the Washington. During the meeting NuScale said it is planning to conduct study to locate a site in the Philippines for possible construction of its small modular reactor (SMR). Marcos said the Philippines “essentially has a shortfall in power supply” and the support of NuScale would help address this issue. "We continue in our effort to provide cost-effective and clean energy solutions to our country," he said in a statement. "Our meeting with NuScale today builds on the discussions we had in New York last year, solidifying our commitment and bringing us closer to building more efficient and sustainable power sources at home," he added.

The Philippines delegation also included Assembly Speaker Martin Romualdez, 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.

Clayton Scott, NuScale Executive Vice President for Business, said the company has “very high confidence that our technology will perform as expected”. Also present at the meeting were NuScale Sales Director Cheryl Collins and local partner, Enrique Razon, representing Prime Infrastructure Capital, (Prime Infra).

Razon is also Chairman & CEO of the Manila-listed company International Container Terminal Services (ICTSCI). He has been investing heavily in building assets through Prime Infra to support infrastructures on energy, access to clean water, waste management, related projects. Prime Infra has estimated that the future investment value of the NuScale project would $6.5-7.5bn to provide 462 MWe by the early 2030s.

The NuScale Power Module is a small pressurised water reactor that can each generate 77 MWe or 250 MWt (gross), and can be scaled to meet customer needs through an array of flexible configurations up to 924 MWe (12 modules) of output. It is the only SMR design to have been certified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The US Department Energy (DOE) has provided more than $600m since 2014 to support NuScale’s design and other US SMR concepts. DOE is working with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) to demonstrate a six-module NuScale VOYGR plant at Idaho National Laboratory. The first module is expected to start up in 2029 with full plant operation in 2030.

Philippines House Speaker Romualdez said in a statement that Marcos’s trip to the USA had yielded a positive development for the energy sector. “Adequate and cheaper energy sources are 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,” he noted. “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,” he added.

Image: The meeting between NuScale and representatives from the Philippines (courtesy of Presidential Communications Office)