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INTERNATIONAL and Philippine experts will convene today, Tuesday, to discuss the Philippines’ plan to develop a nuclear energy industry, a business advisory group said.

In a statement, Aboitiz Group said that the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippines and ABAC Canada will conduct a roundtable discussion on financing mechanisms to develop nuclear energy.

Sabin M. Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aboitiz Group, who is also a member of ABAC Philippines and vice chair of the ABAC Sustainable Growth Working Group, will kick off the event.

“Nuclear energy is more than just power; it’s a promise of a clean, strong future where progress and care for our planet go hand in hand,” Mr. Aboitiz said.

He will be joined by Jan De Silva, chair of the ABAC Digital Innovation Working Group and president and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

“Since our first roundtable, Canada’s Province of Ontario announced its biggest-ever nuclear expansion. We are doubling production at the world’s largest nuclear generation station, refurbishing our oldest operating plant and working on 4 small modular reactors (SMRs). These are the most scalable clean energy solutions to meet our growing need for electrification,” Ms. De Silva said.

The second roundtable will serve as a preparatory platform to further fine-tune the presentation of the ABAC Sustainable Growth Working Group on the feasibility of nuclear energy for the upcoming ABAC 4 meetings scheduled in San Francisco next month.

“The insights and discussions from this roundtable will be integral in finalizing and enriching the content and recommendations of the presentation,” the company said.

Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla is also set to headline the event to discuss the challenges in harnessing the full potential of the country’s existing energy sources and exploring emerging technologies towards a cleaner and more sustainable environment.

Jose M. Layug, Jr., president of the Developers of Renewable Energy for Advancement, Inc., said that the Philippines has to consider the cost for nuclear energy development.

“The Philippines has a diverse portfolio of energy sources. What’s critical for the Philippines really is the cost. Okay, we study nuclear, but is that as competitive as coal and LNG (liquefied natural gas)?,” he said in a recent virtual interview.

“If it is then there’s no problem, provided we take into account safety, of course the feedstock management. No problem as long as we are able to address this, particularly the cost,” he added. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera