FirstGen adds hydro, geothermal capacities

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QUICK READ: Energy Development Corporation’s parent company First Gen Corporation will add hydro and geothermal projects to its portfolio as its Palayan binary project in Bicol is set to complete its expansion by September.

First Gen Corp. expects to complete the expansion of the 28.9 megawatts (MW) Palayan binary project in Bicol by September.

The company said during its annual stockholders’ meeting last week it will start the construction of the 100 MW Aya pumped-storage hydropower project in Nueva Ecija by the third quarter.

First Gen said it is planning to spend as much as $20 billion until 2030 to add up to 9,640 MW capacity and achieve a total portfolio of around 13,000 MW by that time.

The company announced the additional capacity will be 2,000 MW from natural gas-fired power plants, 1,500 MW from solar, 5,100 MW from wind, 700 MW from geothermal, 300 MW from hydro, and 40 MW from battery energy storage systems (BESS).

First Gen as a group has a combined capacity of around 3,500 MW.

First Gen is spending $1.1 billion this year, of which $526 million will be used for the acquisition of the 165 MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija from the government; $403 million for subsidiary Energy Development Corporation to pursue geothermal and BESS, among others; $90 million to operate the liquefied natural gas import terminal in Batangas by September; $50 million for the Aya hydro project; and the rest for small financing needs of natural gas-fired power plants.

Emmanuel Singson, First Gen chief finance officer, said this year’s capex will be funded through a combination of internally generated funds as well as debts.

EDC is First Gen Corporation’s 100 percent renewable energy subsidiary with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed renewable energy capacity. Its almost 1,200MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.