First Gen 9-month profit up 11%

First Gen plants resume operations

Lopez-led First Gen Corporation posted an 11% improvement in its recurring net income to Php10.3 billion in the first nine months of 2021 from Php9.6 billion year-on-year.

The company attributed the growth to higher electricity sales, primarily from its 97-megawatt Avion gas plant and supplemented by lower interest expenses and taxes due to the passage of Republic Act 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act

Overall, First Gen’s natural gas business delivered a 20% increase in recurring earnings to Php7.9 billion from Php6.8 billion in the same period last year, as it benefited from high electricity sales in the early part of the year as it supplied the grid with supplemental power during constraint periods, despite  one of its units having incurred damage last August. The said unit was fully operational by late October.

Avion recently returned to full commercial operations following the repair of one of its damaged compressors.

“Our clean and renewable energy (RE) platforms generated higher revenues for the nine months of 2021 as power demand recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Revenue growth also reflected the higher fuel commodity prices experienced all over the world,” First Gen President and COO Francis Giles Puno said in a statement.

“We likewise witnessed our gas-fired plants increasingly running on liquid fuel due to gas supply restrictions from the Malampaya field. We expect to address this volatility and uncertainty once our [liquefied natural gas] import terminal operates in the last quarter of next year,” he added.

Malampaya restricted its natural gas production beginning in March, June, and October amid dwindling supply.

Meanwhile, Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) recurring attributable income fell by six percent to Php3 billion in the first three quarters of year from Php3.3 billion previously. EDC is First Gen’s RE platform.

Despite generating higher revenues, EDC incurred higher power plant and steamfield maintenance expenses during the period. These were partly offset by lower interest expenses and income taxes.