First Gen studies 35% stake in LNG terminal

First Gen Corp. is open to taking 30-percent to 35-percent stake in the planned first liquefied natural gas terminal in the country, an executive said Tuesday.

First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said the company remained keen on taking part in the development of an LNG facility.  Puno said the company was “flexible” in terms of the ownership stake that it planned to take in the terminal “to make sure that the project will push through.”

“We’re more motivated  to make sure that the project pushes through and we have a good consortium that will support it. And we think that there are a number of players that will support it because it’s an important infrastructure for the country,” Puno said.

First Gen reported $45 million in recurring net income attributable to equity holders of the parent company, or 11 percent lower than $51-million registered in the same period last year.

First Gen said in a statement its merchant power plants suffered from lower revenues due to seasonally soft prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity.

The company recorded attributable net income of $47 million in the three-month period, down $17 million from a year ago.

First Gen, however, said it exceeded expectations as various subsidiaries successfully implemented strategic initiatives. First Gen’s debt reduction program also started to pay off with a decline in interest expenses.

“Electricity prices in the spot market are normally lower in the first quarter due to cooler weather conditions. First Gen is optimistic that the company will catch up in the following quarters, especially during the summer months,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said.

First Gen owns the 1,000-megawatt Sta. Rita, 500-MW San Lorenzo, 420-MW San Gabriel and 97-MW Avion natural gas plants in Batangas province.

Consolidated revenues from the sale of electricity increased to $428 million in the first quarter from $420 million in the same period last year.

Natural gas plants accounted for $233 million or 54 percent of First Gen’s consolidated revenues.

Natural gas plants revenues increased 2 percent in the first quarter mainly on fresh contributions of the Avion and San Gabriel plants.  This was partially offset by the lower combined dispatch of the Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo power plants.

Earnings contribution of natural gas portfolio decreased $15 million to $19 million in the first quarter as cool weather affected spot market prices.

Energy Development Corp., meanwhile, accounted for $177 million or 41 percent of total consolidated revenues of First Gen.

EDC’s revenues from its geothermal, wind, and solar projects grew $6 million from $170 million due to the higher sales of electricity.

Attributable earnings from EDC (excluding FG Hydro) was flat at $30 million in the first quarter.

Topics: First Gen Corp. , liquefied natural gas , LNG terminal
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