First Gen keen on joining Pagbilao projectBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Lopez-led First Gen Corp. is considering exercising its option to buy into the planned $700-million expansion of the Pagbilao coal-fired power plant in Quezon, as it moves to further increase its power-generation portfolio.
At the sidelines of the company’s briefing for analysts on Monday, First Gen president Francis Giles Puno said the firm had an agreement with Japanese firms Marubeni Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Corp., which gave First Gen the option to have an equity participation of up to 33 percent in the planned Pagbilao expansion.
The project will increase the facility’s capacity to 1,300 megawatts from 700 MW.
However, the expansion is supposed to be undertaken by Team Energy under a 50-50 joint venture with the Pagbilao independent power producer contract administrator Aboitiz Power Corp. First Gen will, thus, be entitled to only about 15 percent of the whole expansion project, according to Puno.
Team Energy currently owns and operates the Pagbilao facility, while APC manages the contracted capacity of the power plant as its IPPA.
Puno admitted that the plan to buy even a minority stake in the expansion of a coal project was “a little bit of going against our religion” since First Gen’s power portfolio consisted of natural gas facilities and renewable energy power plants.
According to Puno, there had been initial talks following previous announcements of the expansion power project, but there are no clear details yet as to how the proponents will proceed with the project.
Still, Puno stressed that First Gen was keen on buying into the project and that it would decide on it as soon as the project details were made available.
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