First Gen borrows ₧2.8-B to fund Avion power plant


First Gen Corp. is borrowing P2.8 billion from banks to fund the requirements of its 97-megawatt (MW) Avion dual-fired open-cycle gas turbine power plant.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange Thursday, the Lopez-led firm said its wholly- owned subsidiary, Prime Meridian Powergen Corp. (PMPC), signed a total of P2.8-billion 3-year term loan facilities with Bank of the Philippine Islands and ING Bank N.V. Manila Branch.

The proceeds from the loans will be primarily used to fund the general and corporate working capital requirements of PMPC, which owns and operates the Avion plant.

“This is the first term loan of PMPC and it is reflective of the Avion power plant’s strong and stable cash flows since starting operations in 2016. The combined debt facilities totaling P2.8 billion is a testimony to the strong support and continuing confidence of our lenders in First Gen’s natural-gas business,” said Francis Giles B. Puno, President and COO of First Gen.

First Gen’s gas portfolio now stands at 2,017 MW. The power firm is set to deliver the country’s first Interim Offshore LNG Terminal Project, as well as additional natural gas-fired power plants.

“Today, we are honored and grateful that our lenders continue to be supportive of our endeavors to deliver clean and cost-efficient power to Filipinos,” added Puno.

First Gen is a leading independent power producer in the Philippines that primarily utilizes clean and indigenous fuels. It has 3,495MW of installed capacity in its portfolio, which accounts for 19 percent of the country’s net generation.

The company reported last month that its net income as of end-September grew by 11 percent to P10.3 billion from last year’s P9.6 billion.

The Lopez-led firm attributed the growth to the strong performance of its gas-fired power plants and renewable energy (RE) facilities from January to September.

Revenues from the electricity sales of its power facilities stood at P78.1 billion at end-September this year, up by 18 percent from last year’s P68.6-billion. The natural gas portfolio accounted for 59 percent of the revenues; hydro plants, 4 percent; and geothermal, wind, solar revenues of its subsidiary Energy Development Corp., 35 percent.

The natural gas platform posted a 20-percent year-on-year rise in recurring earnings to P7.9 billion due to higher electricity sales.

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