First Gen plans 3 hydro projects

by Alena Mae S. Flores – May 15, 2016 at 11:20 pm

from Manila Standard Today

First Gen Corp. of the Lopez Group is keen on developing three hydro power projects in Mindanao with a combined potential output of 102.5 megawatts and cost of around $470 million to construct.

First Gen’s business development team is strengthening its expertise in hydro electric power plant construction and development so that the company can start the construction of the projects this year.

The projects are the 32-MW Bubunawan, 30-MW Puyo and 40.5-MW Tagoloan run-of-river hydro stations.

“We remain bullish in developing our hydro portfolio… For Bubunawan, we proceeded with rehabilitating the access road at the site and expect it to be completed in 2016,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said.

Chief finance officer Emmanuel Singson said the big capital expenditures for hydro were expected in the next three years.

“Bubunawan is about $180 million to $190 million but that would come in two to three years… around $130 million to 140 million for Puyo. For Tagoloan, nothing firm yet but about the same,” Singson said.

Puno, meanwhile, said the lingering effects of El Niño, along with the water conservation program of the National Irrigation Administration, resulted in the lower dispatch from the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydro complex in Nueva Ecija province in the first three quarters last year.

First Gen Hydro Power Corp., a unit of First Gen, owns and operates the Pantabangan-Masiway hydro electric plant.

Puno said the lower generation was ease by the two unexpected typhoons in the last quarter last year that significantly increased dam elevation.

Total plant generation, as a result, increased 4.2 percent to 259.2 gigawatthours in 2015.

First Gen Hydro Power Corp.’s 12-MW Masiway hydro facially went back to operations toward the end of 2015, after the completion of a rehabilitation program, including the replacement of the facility’s circuit breaker and transformer.

Puno said other works were also completed by Alstom Hydro Philippines and Alstom Hydro China.

“Formal takeover of the refurbished Masiway hydro facility is expected to take place in the first half of 2016, after the submission of as-built drawings and the completion of punch list items,” he said.

Revenues from the Pantabangan-Masiway hydro plant reached P1.88 billion in 2015 from P1.625 billion in 2014.

Net income reached P543.2 million last year from P540.1 million in 2014 due to the expiration of the income tax holiday.