The Lopez Group‘s clean and renewable energy provider First Gen Corp. on Tuesday reported a 52-percent increase in recurring net income in the first quarter to $89 million (P4.9 billion) from $59 million (P30 billion) in the same period in 2022.
“2023 is off to a promising start for First Gen as the portfolio benefits from the strong performance of almost all of its platforms,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said.
Puno said First Gen’s liquefied natural gas terminal in Batangas is on its way to commercial operations as it heads towards commissioning this quarter.
“The operation of the LNG terminal should be beneficial not just for our portfolio, but for the grid in general as we will no longer be solely reliant on Malampaya gas for our operations,” Puno said.
First Gen’s natural gas subsidiaries and geothermal subsidiary Energy Development Corp. delivered higher earnings as a result of better operating income which was partially offset by higher interest expenses.
The natural gas platform reported a 17-percent increase in recurring earnings in the first three months to $45 million (P2.5 billion) from $38 million (P2 billion) in 2022.
All of First Gen’s four natural gas power plants delivered higher operating income amid high dispatch arising from insufficient power supply in the grid.
The 420-megawatt San Gabriel Power Plant and the 97-MW Avion Power Plant enjoyed better recurring earnings with the full availability of both plants in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, EDC’s geothermal power plants recorded higher sales and operating income on increased Wholesale Electricity Spot Market sales and higher electricity prices from new contracts.
EDC’s 150-MW Burgos wind project benefited from a better wind regime in the first quarter.
EDC’s recurring and attributable earnings at $38 million (P2.1 billion) in the first quarter went up by 126 percent from recurring income of $17 million (P0.9 billion) in 2022.
First Gen’s hydro platform’s contribution to recurring earnings was at $7 million (P381.8 million) in the first quarter, down 28 percent from $10 million (P 489 million) in the same period last year.
The 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway power plants generated lower revenues from a reduced electricity volume sold due to the transfer of its power supply contract to EDC in August 2022.
This was partially offset by an increase in WESM volumes sold and higher market prices and buffered by savings in administrative expenses and higher interest income.
First Gen’s revenues went up 14 percent in the first quarter to $652 million (P36 billion) from $570 million (P29.1 billion) from the same period in 2022. This was due to the elevated fuel and WESM prices and an increase in volume of electricity sales.
The natural gas portfolio accounted for 61 percent of First Gen’s total consolidated revenues, while 35 percent came from EDC’s geothermal, wind and solar plants. The remaining 4 percent balance was from the company’s hydro plants.
First Gen has 3,501 MW of installed capacity in its portfolio, which accounts for 19 percent of the country’s gross power generation.
First Gen is a subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings Corp., one of the most established conglomerates in the Philippines and has over 20 years of experience in power development.