First Gen supplying geothermal power to carrageenan exporter

PBI Photo

Lopez-led First Gen Corporation is supplying geothermal power to Philippine Bio-Industries, Inc. (PBI), one of the country’s biggest exporters of refined carrageenan blends.

PBI, through parent firm W Hydrocolloids, Inc. (WHI), recently inked a one-year contract with First Gen retail electricity supplier (RES) Bac-Man Geothermal, Inc. (BGI), to provide 650 kilowatts of electricity from the 150-megawatt Bacon-Manito power plant in Albay to energize PBI’s carrageenan production facilities in Calamba City, Laguna.

The deal, done under the government’s retail competition and open access program, is part of PBI’s plan to enhance its sustainability efforts and align them with those of customers overseas.

“With this partnership, we are now using [100%] renewable energy (RE) in our PBI facility in Laguna and are also in the process of executing it for our Carmona plant facility in Cavite. This partnership aims to achieve our commitment to a sustainable future, from supporting ecological seaweed communities for our raw materials to using [100%] eco-clean energy on our plant facilities,” WHI President John Wee said in a statement.

“Our customers abroad, especially those in the [European Union], are ramping up their respective sustainability programs in support of global efforts to stop the further buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that aggravates man-made climate change,” he added.

First Gen Vice President Carlo Vega, for his part, thanked the WHI Group for accepting his company’s offer to shift to RE, though acknowledged that many more collaborations have to be done for climate change mitigation measures to make an impact.

“Individually, our shift to RE might not make a dent in the fight against climate change; but together, the amount of carbon dioxide we displace with the use of clean energy can make a big difference in stopping climate change. We will redouble our mission to forge collaborative pathways with these groups,” he said. 

First Gen, through another subsidiary Green Core Geothermal Inc. (GCGI), also supplies geothermal power to the exclusive Manila Polo Club in Forbes Park, Makati City. BGI, GCGI, as well as First Gen Energy Solutions are the Lopez-owned firm’s RESs under the Department of Energy’s green energy option program.

Last week, First Gen reported to the Philippine Stock Exchange that its profit attributable to equity holders for the second quarter went down 7.87% to $62.5 million (around Php3.16 billion at $1=Php50.57) from $67.7 million (around Php3.43 billion) in the same period last year.

Despite this, it managed to post an 11% increase in net income, also attributable to equity holders, for the first half to $147 million (Php7.1 billion) from $133 million (Php6.7 billion) year-on-year due to higher electricity sales and prices.