First Gen starts work on $1.26B worth of gas, hydro facilities
MANILA, Philippines—First Gen Corp. has started preliminary work to prepare for the construction of $1.26 billion (roughly P51.7 billion) worth of natural gas facilities and hydropower plants.
In an interview with reporters, First Gen president Francis Giles Puno explained that the company has hired a technical consultant to conduct the front-end engineering design (FEED) for the planned $1-billion storage and regasification facilities for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
According to Puno, they expected the FEED, which would determine the most cost-efficient way to undertake the project, to be completed within the third quarter this year. This will allow First Gen to start construction of the facilities by next year and have these completed between 2016 and 2018.
Puno explained that having LNG facilities would ensure the continued gas supply for its two power plants in Batangas once the gas from the Malampaya field off Palawan run out by 2024. First Gen, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the 1,000-megawatt Sta. Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo facilities.
The LNG facilities will likewise support the company’s planned expansion, which will see the construction of the 1,300-MW San Gabriel gas-fired power plants. These power units will be constructed in three phases, with the first 100 MW expected to be completed by 2014, the second 400 MW by 2016 and the last 800 MW by 2018.
Meanwhile, Puno said First Gen has started preliminary work such as the construction of access roads for three hydropower facilities, which will require investments of up to $260 million (or roughly P10.7 billion). These include the 30-MW Puyo, 23-MW Bubunawan and 10-MW Cabadbaran hydropower projects in Agusan and Bukidnon.
According to Puno, the hydropower facilities might likely be constructed simultaneously and be completed within three or four years’ time.
For 2013 alone, First Gen has allocated up to $250 million (P10.25 billion) to help fund these activities as part of its capital expenditure program.—Amy R. Remo