First Gen records flat income at Php 12.4B in 2021

First Gen plants resume operations

Lopez-led First Gen Corporation, registered a flat growth of Php12.4 billion in 2021 due to high global oil prices and supply restrictions that affected prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market. 

“First Gen generated higher revenues in 2021, as we saw power demand recover to pre-pandemic levels. Unfortunately, revenue growth was also an effect of higher fuel prices experienced all over the world and the supply restrictions in the grid that reflected in high spot market prices,” First Gen President and COO Francis Puno said in a statement.

The company’s natural gas platform, which includes the 97-megawatt (MW) Avion Power Plant, has delivered recurring earnings of Php9.7 billion in 2021, eight percent higher than 2020’s Php9.2 billion. Avion’s Unit 2 incurred damages in August, while Unit 1 tripped in December. The plant resumed full operations in February.

Meanwhile, the older natural gas-fired plants, namely the 1,000MW Santa Rita and the 500MW San Lorenzo facilities, reaped the benefits of lower income tax rates under Republic Act 11534 or the  Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law and lower interest expenses from regular debt service payments. These were partially offset by lower operating income from the 420MW San Gabriel plant due to outages and higher replacement power.

While First Gen’s gas plants – all in Batangas City – mainly run on fuel from the Malampaya gas field in Palawan, they are also designed to run on another type of fuel.

“Our gas-fired plants necessarily ran on liquid fuel to ensure adequate supply for the grid. We are working to address gas supply uncertainty and are confident this will be addressed once our [liquefied natural gas] import terminal operates this year,” Puno added.  

The company’s consolidated revenues from electricity sales increased by 18% to Php106 billion from 2020’s Php91 billion. 

Energy Development Corporation (EDC), First Gen’s renewable energy unit, recorded an attributable net income of Php4 billion, eight percent lower from 2020’s Php4.5 billion. This was due to higher power plant and steam field maintenance expenses, as the company made up for deferred activities in 2020. 

EDC operates the 150MW Burgos Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte, the 140MW Bacon-Manito Geothermal Power Plant in Albay, and 955.1MW of geothermal facilities in Leyte and Negros Oriental, among others.