First Gen secures P20B loan for Casecnan plant

First Gen plants resume operations

Lopez-led First Gen Corporation has secured a Php 20 billion term loan agreement with local banks, BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO), and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) for acquiring the 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan hydroelectric power project (CHEPP) in Nueva Ecija.

In a report by the Manila Bulletin, First Gen Chief Financial Officer Emmanuel Singson said the financing is crucial for the company’s transition toward a decarbonized and regenerative future. 

Moreover, BDO and BPI expressed the same sentiments by supporting sustainable initiatives, highlighting the positive impact of the Casecnan plant acquisition on power generation and environmental conservation.

Earlier this year, First Gen won the bid for the Casecnan hydropower facility with a price amounting to $526 million during the privatization by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM)

The acquisition aligned with First Gen’s strategy to enhance collaboration between the Casecnan and Pantabangan-Masiway hydropower facilities, both situated in Nueva Ecija. 

Additionally, the company is developing the 120-megawatt Aya pumped storage hydropower project in Pantabangan.

Previously managed by US firm CalEnergy International, the Casecnan plant was turned over to PSALM in 2020 after the expiration of its build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract with the government. PSALM and co-owner National Irrigation Administration (NIA) decided to privatize the hydropower plant, leading to the auction process in May this year.