First Gen inks power supply contract with carrageenan exporter

By Danessa Rivera |


MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led First Gen Corp. has added Philippine Bio-Industries Inc. (PBI), one of the country’s biggest exporters of refined carrageenan blends, to its customers who have shifted to renewable energy.


PBI, through parent firm W Hydrocolloids Inc., signed a one-year contract with First Gen’s licensed retail electricity supplier Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. (BGI) for the supply of 650 kilowatts (kW) of electricity from a geothermal power plant to energize PBI’s carrageenan production facilities in Calamba, Laguna.


First Gen vice president Carlo Vega said the 150-megawatt (MW) Bacon-Manito geothermal power facilities in the Bicol Region, owned and operated by BGI, is now providing PBI the required power supply.


The contract with First Gen allows PBI to enhance its sustainability efforts and align them with those of customers overseas.


“W Hydrocolloids ventured into a partnership with First Gen in our conscious effort to lower our carbon footprint and minimize carbon pollution’s impact on our environment,” WHI president John Wee said.


“With this partnership, we are now using 100% renewable energy in our PBI facility in Laguna and are also in the process of executing it for our Carmona plant facility in Cavite. This partnership aims to achieve our commitment to a sustainable future, from supporting ecological seaweed communities for our raw materials to using 100 percent eco-clean energy on our plant facilities,” he said.


The company’s customers abroad, particularly those in the European Union, are ramping up their respective sustainability programs in support of global efforts to stop the further buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that aggravates man-made climate change.

“We share with our customers their concern about the environment. We aligned ourselves with their efforts by putting in place a stringent environmental protection program to minimize our impact on the environment,” Wee said.


For First Gen, Vega said the partnership with the WHI Group “validates our optimism that there are thousands of other companies out there that, like WHI, share with us a common desire to pursue a decarbonized and regenerative future.”


“Individually, our shift to RE might not make a dent in the fight against climate change; but together, the amount of carbon dioxide we displace with the use of clean energy can make a big difference in stopping climate change. We will redouble our mission to forge collaborative pathways with these groups,” he said.


First Gen and parent firm First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) recognize the risks that humans face from climate change due to the continued buildup in the atmosphere of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, including those from power plants using carbon-intensive fossil fuel.


This awareness explains the focus of Lopez-led FPH and First Gen on developing and operating power plants that run on renewable energy sources and emit minimal if not zero carbon dioxide, such as hydro, wind, solar and geothermal.


Aside from the RE projects, First Gen’s power plants run on natural gas, considered the cleanest form of fossil fuel. In total, First Gen’s portfolio of power plants had a combined capacity of 3,492 MW as of 2020.


The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.