First Gen was incorporated on December 22, 1998 as a subsidiary of First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH), one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in the Philippines, that has interests in power generation, power distribution, infrastructure, manufacturing, and property development.
Although First Gen was established only in 1998, it traces its roots back to FPH’s pioneering power development efforts in 1993. That year, FPH won the bid to design, build, and operate the 225-MW Bauang diesel (Bauang) power plant under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme. In October 1992, FPH, Manila Electric Company (Meralco), PCI Capital Corporation and JG Summit Holdings, Inc., established First Private Power Corporation (FPPC) for the specific purpose of developing power projects to support the state-owned National Power Corporation’s (NPC) “fast-track” development program. FPPC subsequently established Bauang Private Power Corporation (BPPC) to directly undertake and implement the Bauang power project. On July 26, 2010, First Gen formally transferred the Bauang power plant to NPC following the expiration of its BOT contract with them.
In November 1994, following the discovery of large reserves of indigenous natural gas in the Malampaya offshore gas field in Palawan, FPH partnered with BG Energy Holdings, Ltd. (BGEH), a subsidiary of the BG Group, to develop natural gas projects in the Philippines using natural gas from the Malampaya field. For this purpose, they jointly established First Gas Holdings Corporation (FGHC).
The first joint venture project between FPH and BGEH was the 1,000-MW Santa Rita power plant. First Gas Power Corporation (FGPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of FGHC, was incorporated to directly undertake the Santa Rita project. Santa Rita was initially 60 percent-owned and -controlled by FPH through its ownership of FGHC. The remaining 40 percent was held by BGEH’s Philippine subsidiary, BG Consolidated Holdings (Philippines), Inc. (BGCH). In May 2012, First Gen acquired the 40 percent stake of the BG Group in FGPC, thereby making FGPC an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen.
In 1997, FPH and BGEH incorporated FGP Corp. (FGP), the joint venture company to undertake the development, financing and construction of the 500-MW San Lorenzo power plant. Like Santa Rita, San Lorenzo was established to utilize natural gas from the Malampaya field as its primary fuel source. San Lorenzo was 60 percent-owned and -controlled by FPH through Unified Holdings Corporation (Unified). The remaining 40 percent was held by BGCH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, BG Philippines Holdings, Inc. In May 2012, First Gen acquired the 40 percent stake of the BG Group in FGP, thereby making FGP an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen.
In 2004, First Gen won the bid to purchase the 1.6-MW Agusan mini-hydro power plant (Agusan) located in Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao as part of the Philippine Government’s privatization program. The Agusan asset was formally transferred to First Gen in 2005 and eventually in 2006 to First Gen’s wholly-owned subsidiary, FG Bukidnon Power Corporation (FG Bukidnon).
In October 2006, First Gen, through First Gen Hydro Power Corporation (FG Hydro), successfully won the bidding for the then 112-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant complex (Pantabangan-Masiway). FG Hydro has since then completed a rehabilitation program for the Pantabangan plant that increased Pantabangan-Masiway’s total capacity to 132 MW.
In 2007, First Gen, through its subsidiary Red Vulcan Holdings Corporation (Red Vulcan), won the bid to acquire a 40 percent economic/60 percent voting stake in the Philippine National Oil Company-Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC), which was later renamed Energy Development Corporation (EDC). Today, EDC is the Philippine’s largest producer of geothermal energy and takes pride in being the world’s largest vertically-integrated geothermal company. EDC has since added hydro, wind, and solar energy to its portfolio, making it a pure renewable energy company. Currently, the company has a gross installed capacity of 1,458 MW in its portfolio.
EDC is a pioneer in the geothermal energy industry with over three decades of proven business viability. From the exploration to production of water-based steam power into the generation of electricity for commercial use, EDC has developed some of the world’s pioneering and most complex steam fields. EDC aims to strengthen its position as a market leader by developing more steam fields and power generation projects locally and overseas
In 2008, First Gen sold its 60 percent stake in FG Hydro to EDC and since 2007 it has slowly increased its economic ownership in EDC from 40 percent to 50.6 percent economic stake as of today.
EDC itself has likewise bid for and won several power plants from the Philippine Government since First Gen acquired the company. These were NPC-owned geothermal power plants that EDC supplies steam to. EDC won the bids for the then 192.5-MW Palinpinon and the 112.5-MW Tongonan geothermal power plants in 2009, and the Bac-Man geothermal power plants in 2010.
EDC has also ventured into other forms of renewable energy. In March 2013, EDC signed contracts with Vestas of Denmark for EDC’s Burgos Wind Project in the town of Burgos, Ilocos Norte. The Burgos Wind Project consists of 50 large-scale wind turbines, each with 3-MW capacity for a total installed capacity of 150 MW. The Burgos Wind Project achieved successful commissioning on November 5, 2014. On April 14, 2015, the Burgos Wind Project received its Certificate of Compliance (CoC) from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) entitling it to the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rate until 2034. To date, the wind farm stands out as the Philippines’ largest wind project. On top of the wind farm, EDC completed the construction of a 4.16-MW solar power project in Burgos on March 2, 2015. The Burgos Solar Project received its CoC on April 6, 2015 and is entitled to the FiT rate until 2035. On January 19, 2016, the 2.66-MW Burgos Solar Project Phase 2 was completed bringing EDC’s total solar capacity to 6.82 MW. The project received its CoC on March 1, 2016, entitling it to the FiT rate until 2036.
First Gen continues to grow with the addition of the 97-MW Avion and the 414-MW San Gabriel natural gas-fired power plants, which have been in commercial operations since September 26, 2016 and November 7, 2016, respectively.
The 97-MW Avion open-cycle natural gas-fired power plant was developed under the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Prime Meridian Powergen Corporation (PMPC) and it uses two units of General Electric’s LM6000 PC Sprint aero-derivative gas turbines, giving it the flexibility to ramp up quickly and to do unlimited daily starts and stops.
The 414-MW San Gabriel combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant, which was developed under the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary First NatGas Power Corp. (FNPC), is the most efficient natural gas-fired plant in Southeast Asia. The plant serves the mid-merit and, potentially, the base load requirements of the grid.
Both plants, together with Santa Rita and San Lorenzo, are located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City and have added 511 MW to First Gen’s portfolio of power assets, bringing the Company’s total installed capacity to 3,470 MW. As of today, First Gen is the largest producer of natural gas-fired power in the Philippines
Santa Rita and San Lorenzo
The 1,000-MW Santa Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo power plants are two of the three natural gas-fired power plants that form the cornerstone of the USD 4.5-billion Malampaya Gas-to-Power Project, the largest single industrial investment in the history of Philippine business. The project paved the way for the birth of the natural gas industry in the Philippines.
Both the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo plants use the Siemens 4000F, an efficient and proven technology design for combined cycle gas turbines. The First Gas plants have the capability to switch to liquid fuel as a backup during any gas supply interruption.
Critical to the success of both the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo projects was the construction of an on-shore natural gas transmission pipeline that would transport Malampaya gas to both Santa Rita and San Lorenzo from the natural gas facility of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. in Tabangao, Batangas City. FGP took on the responsibility to construct this pipeline, the first of its kind in the Philippines.
The Burgos Project
On November 5, 2014, EDC successfully completed the 150-MW Burgos Wind Project located in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. Turbines for the project were manufactured by Vestas, one of the top wind turbine manufacturers in the world. Currently, it is the country’s largest wind farm with a total project cost of USD 450.0-million. EDC Burgos Wind Power Corporation (EBWPC), a wholly-owned EDC subsidiary, owns and operates the project. The ERC issued a CoC for the plant’s total capacity of 150-MW, which made it one of the first wind projects to qualify for the FiT rate.
Moreover, Burgos Wind garnered numerous recognitions from distinguished institutions which include: Asia Pacific Renewables Deal of the Year from Project Finance International (PFI), Asia Wind Deal of the Year from Infrastructure Journal Global of EuroMoney, Asia Pacific Deal of the Year from Trade Finance Magazine, Best Deal of 2014 from Global Trade Review (GTR), Top Ten Global Deals of the Year – Best Export Credit Agency (ECA)-backed Green Deal from Trade & Export Finance and the 2015 Asia Projects of the Year Awards from Power Engineering International.
EDC recognized the opportunity in using the spare parcels of land at the Burgos site to install solar panels. On March 2, 2015, it successfully completed the 4.16-MW Burgos Solar Project, and commenced commercial operation on March 5, 2015. On January 19, 2016, the 2.66-MW Burgos Solar Project Phase 2 was completed bringing EDC’s total solar capacity to 6.82 MW.
The 97-MW Avion open-cycle natural gas-fired power plant was developed under the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Prime Meridian Powergen Corporation (PMPC) and it is located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City. Since September 26, 2016, the plant has been in commercial operation.
The Avion plant uses two units of General Electric’s LM6000 PC Sprint aero-derivative gas turbines, making it the first power plant in the Philippines to run on aircraft engines for land-based power generation application. The Avion power plant has the capability to run on either natural gas or diesel and its turbines have the flexibility to ramp up quickly and to do unlimited daily starts and stops. The plant is designed with fast start capability (starts-up in six minutes and reaches full-load in 18 minutes) and has an efficiency of 38 percent at full-load natural gas.
The 414-MW San Gabriel combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant, which was developed under the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary First NatGas Power Corp. (FNPC), is the most efficient natural gas-fired plant in Southeast Asia. The plant commenced commercial operation on November 7, 2016 and it is located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas City.
San Gabriel utilizes Siemens’ SCC6-8000H combined-cycle gas turbine, which is designed to have a combined-cycle efficiency rating greater than 60 percent and offers operational flexibility. San Gabriel can achieve a hot start in 59 minutes, cold start in 148 minutes and has a ramp-up time of 24 MW per minute. The plant utilizes an evolutionary three-dimensional blading design that results in improved part load efficiency and high load transients, high cycling capability due to internally air-cooled turbine section, fast start and hot restart capabilities, and a four-stage design with advance materials and thermal barrier coating for improved performance, among others.
Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal (LNG Terminal)
First Gen is currently evaluating the construction of an import and regasification LNG terminal as the construction and operation of the terminal would benefit from synergies throughout the Company’s gas projects, such as efficiencies from the shared fuel delivery and fuel storage facilities. First Gen intends to develop the project in parallel with at least one more natural gas-fired power plant and to serve as the fuel source of all of the Company’s gas-fired power projects. First Gen, in consultation with reputable engineering firms worldwide, has confirmed the feasibility of constructing and operating the LNG Terminal in Batangas City.
First Gen debuted on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) with an initial public offering (IPO) in 2006 and raised Php 9.1-billion at an offer price of Php 47.0 per share. This was followed by a rights offering in 2010 of Php 15.0-billion. In addition, First Gen has raised funding through the issuance of a Series “F” and Series “G” Preferred shares in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In July 2011, First Gen issued Php 10.0-billion Series “F” Preferred shares at an issue price of Php 100.0 per share with a dividend rate of 8.0 percent. Series “F” Preferred shares are cumulative, non-voting, non-participating, non-convertible and peso-denominated. (First Gen has since redeemed 36.4-million shares of Series “F” Preferred shares.) In 2012, First Gen issued a total of Php 12.1-billion Series “G” Preferred shares at an issue price of Php 100.0 per share with a dividend rate of 7.7808 percent. Series “G” Preferred shares are cumulative, non-voting, non-participating, non-convertible and peso-denominated. Both Series “F” and Series “G” are listed on the PSE. Raising equity has enabled First Gen to continually expand its power portfolio. Today, First Gen has a free float of 33.8 percent.
First Gen was awarded the Asian Index Award (small-capitalization category) by Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an association that represents shareholder-owned electric utilities in the United States, during its annual Asian Energy Financial and Investment Conference in Singapore in 2015. First Gen won the Gold award and was one of six Asian utilities recognized for their superior and consistent financial performance. The Asian Index Award is presented to Asian utility companies that have achieved the highest total shareholder return in two categories: Large-Capitalization and Small-Capitalization. The companies awarded have the highest three-year returns through June 30, 2015. (Other award recipients in the small-capitalization category included Tokyo Electric Power Company (Platinum award) and Ratchaburi Electric Generation Co. (Silver award).
To complement its equity transactions, First Gen has likewise been active in the debt markets.
FGPC’s Santa Rita project was financed in the year 2000 with commitments from a diverse group of lenders led by export credit agencies, as well as multilateral, bilateral and institutional investors. Underwritten financing commitments for Santa Rita reached 700 percent of the amount requested. It was able to raise USD 630.9-million to fund the USD 850-million cost of the project. In November 2008, FGPC successfully refinanced its outstanding loans by obtaining a USD 544.0-million refinancing loan from a consortium of eight foreign banks, namely: Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Credit Agricole, KfW-IPEX Bank, ING, UniCredit, Maybank, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank. This loan came in two tranches that included an uncovered dollar tranche with the longest tenor for a project financing in the Philippines in 2008. The same loan also had the largest private political risk insurance syndicate in Asia in that year. The transaction earned the Asia Pacific Deal of the Year Award for the same year from Project Finance magazine of EuroMoney. The transaction, which closed at the height of the global financial crisis prevailing at that time, bears testimony to the foreign banks’ confidence and commitment to the Santa Rita Project.
The original project loan financing for FGP’s San Lorenzo project in 2002 closed in less than six months and was one of the fastest deals to be closed despite the then prevailing Asian financial crisis. Underwriting commitments for the original San Lorenzo project financing likewise reached 500 percent of the amount requested. San Lorenzo was able to raise USD 375.3-million to fund the USD 500-million cost of the project. In October 2012, FGP signed a USD 420.0-million, 10-year unsecured term loan facility with seven banks, namely: Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO Unibank, Inc., Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Security Bank Corporation, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and Union Bank of the Philippines. The financing commitments reached USD 600.0-million, and the loan was completed and fully drawn in one month.
FGP used the loan proceeds primarily to repay the original project finance loans that the project obtained. The loan also allowed First Gen to pay down its outstanding debt at that time.
Investors’ continued confidence in First Gen has helped the company raise funds from international capital markets to finance the Company’s growth projects and general corporate activities. In October 2013, First Gen raised USD 300.0-million through a 10-year, non-call senior unsecured bond. The USD 300.0-million bond is listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. More recently, on September 22, 2015, First Gen successfully secured a 10-year USD 200.0-million Note Facility from BDO Unibank, Inc.
The high level of investor confidence and impeccable track record also benefits First Gen’s subsidiaries. For instance, wholly-owned subsidiary FNPC signed in July 2014 a USD 265.0-million export credit facility with KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany (KfW) to partially finance the natural gas-fired power project. With a tenor of 13.7 years, this facility has an export credit guarantee provided by Euler Hermes, acting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Other recent fund-raising exercises involve EDC’s financing for the 150-MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. To partly finance this project, EDC signed two-year bridge facilities amounting to Php 2.7-billion in June 2014 with two local banks. In the same month, it signed another USD 90.0-million financing facility with foreign banks. In October 2014, EDC signed a USD 315.0-million financing agreement with a group of foreign and local banks also for the construction of the Burgos Wind Project. The facility consists of US dollar and Philippine peso tranches with a tenor of 15 years. Eksport Kredit Fonden, Denmark’s export credit agency, guaranteed a part of the dollar loan component. On November 5, 2015, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a financing assignment agreement of up to USD 20.0-million with a group of international lenders of the Burgos Wind Project. The Burgos lenders agreed to proportionately assign to ADB a portion of the ECA Debt Facility and the USD Commercial Debt Facility of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, DZ Bank AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main, Hong Kong Branch, ING Bank, a branch of ING DiBa AG, ING Bank, N.V., Singapore Branch and Norddeustche Landesbank Girozentrale, Singapore Branch.
In February 2015, EDC earned the Asia-Pacific Renewables Deal of the Year for EDC’s 150-MW Burgos Wind Project from PFI. PFI, a member of the global mass media and information giant Thomson-Reuters, described the Burgos Wind Project as a ground-breaking project for being the first wind farm project financing in the Philippines to reach financial close – a feat achieved by EDC despite the absence of an off-take agreement.
Furthermore, EDC also garnered the following awards for the Burgos Wind Project:
- Asia Wind Deal of the Year from Infrastructure Journal Global of EuroMoney
- Asia Pacific Deal of the Year from Trade Finance Magazine
- Best Deal of 2014 from GTR
- Top Ten Global Deals of the Year-Best ECA-backed Green Deal
- 2015 Asia Projects of the Year Awards from Power Engineering International
First Gen constantly strives to meet the various needs of its consumers and is committed to be the preferred provider of energy services. As a responsible energy company, First Gen will lead the country’s transformation towards a cleaner decarbonized world by meeting the needs of the growing energy market with competitive, efficient and highly profitable energy and power generation assets with the least impact to the environment.
The Company is also committed to enhancing the competitiveness, quality and reliability of its products and services. To this end, opportunities to constantly develop, finance, and construct power projects are sought, as well as operate and maintain businesses with the ultimate goal of delivering superior services to our customers.
The management team is composed of talented, dynamic, and highly motivated individuals who demonstrate active leadership and commitment to the Company’s goal of enhancing its position as a leading Filipino energy company. Members of the management team have impressive educational and work-related credentials and are experts in their own respective fields. A number of them have postgraduate degrees from some of the best universities in the world. They have collective work experience in the fields of management consulting, project development, and investment banking, among others.
First Gen is one of the country’s largest independent power producers. It successfully completed an IPO of its common shares on the PSE in February 2006. Offerings to the public and private sector of both debt and equity have been executed thereafter. To fulfill its commitment to its shareholders, the Company constantly strives to grow the business and enhance shareholder value by proactively pursuing opportunities and subjecting these to a diligent analysis of the risks and rewards. Though the focus remains on the core business of power generation and expanding the portfolio through greenfield development projects and acquisitions, the Company is also equipped and poised to develop other viable energy-related business opportunities, such as LNG terminals, natural gas transmission and distribution, and geothermal exploration through EDC.
On October 28, 2015, First Gen was one of six Asian utilities recognized for their superior and consistent financial performance. First Gen was awarded the Asian Index Award (small-capitalization category) Gold award by EEI for achieving one of the highest three-year returns through June 30, 2015.
The Company ensures that its operations comply with international quality, environment, safety and health (QESH) standards. The Company designed its policies and procedures to enable the organization to properly implement and continually improve its standards for Quality Management System (QMS), as well as for Environment, Safety and Health Management System (ESHMS). These policies and procedures prevent and/ or mitigate environmental, safety and health risks, while ensuring compliance with legal and other applicable requirements.
The Company’s QMS and ESHMS are designed for integration into the roles and responsibilities of each employee.
First Gen Corporation
- In 2003, First Generation Holdings Corporation’s QMS earned its initial certification for compliance with ISO 9001:2000 for the period 2003 to 2006.
- In 2006, a recertification to the same standard was acquired with a change of company name from First Generation Holdings Corporation to First Gen Corporation for the period 2006 to 2009.
- Since then, First Gen has maintained its certification to ISO 9001:2008 by complying with the requirements of the standard and undergoing recertification audits before the expiry of the three-year validity of each certification.
- In 2006, the Agusan mini-hydro plant of FG Bukidnon’s Integrated Management System (IMS) for Quality, Environment and Occupational Health and Safety was certified for compliance with standards for ISO 9001:2000 (QMS), ISO 14001:2004 (for Environmental Management System or EMS), and OHSAS 18001:1999 (for Occupational Health and Safety Management System or OHSAS).
- In 2009, FG Bukidnon obtained recertification for compliance with standards under ISO 9001:2008 (QMS), ISO 14001:2004 (EMS) and OHSAS 18001: 2008.
- Since then, FG Bukidnon has successfully maintained its IMS certification to the latest versions of the three standards.
- In 2009, FG Hydro’s IMS was certified compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008 (for QMS), ISO 14001:2004 (for EMS), and OHSAS 18001:2007. FG Hydro has since then maintained its IMS certifications.
FGPC and FGP
- In 2004, FGPC and FGP received IMS certification, confirming compliance with standards under ISO 9001:2000 (for QMS), ISO 14001:1996 (for EMS), and OHSAS 18001:1999.
- In subsequent recertification audits, both companies have been found to be in conformance with the three standards; both maintain certifications for ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, and OHSAS 18001:2007.
- As part of its laboratory integration program, EDC merged into one ISO 17025 accreditation of its geoscientific and environmental laboratories at some of its business units. In the process, EDC has maintained six accreditations for its laboratories as of 2015:
- The Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF) Environmental Management Department Laboratory and the LGPF Resource Management Department Chemistry Laboratory independently certified in 2007 were integrated into one certification with the name LGPF Integrated Laboratory in 2015.
- The Southern Negros Geothermal Production Field (SNGPF) Environmental Management Department Laboratory and the SNGPF Resource Management Department Chemistry Laboratory individually certified in 2009 were integrated into one certification under the name SNGPF Integrated Laboratory in 2014.
- The Mount Apo Geothermal Production Field (MGPF) Environmental Management Department Laboratory and the MGPF Resource Management Department Chemistry Laboratory distinctly certified in 2009 were integrated into one certification under the name MGPF Integrated Laboratory in 2014.
- Bacman Geothermal Production Field Resource Department Chemistry Laboratory has maintained its certification from 2009 to present.
- Both the Head Office Environmental Management Department Laboratory and the Head Office Resource Management Department Chemistry Laboratory were certified in 2014.
Mount Apo Geothermal Project (Mount Apo)
- In 2012, Mount Apo’s EMS acquired its initial certification to ISO 14001:2004 for the period 2012 to 2015.
- In 2015, the re-certification to ISO 14001:2004 was attained for the period 2015 to 2018.
Southern Negros Geothermal Project (Southern Negros)
- In 2014, Southern Negros’ EMS obtained certification to ISO 14001:2004 for a three-year validity period.
Resource Management Department (RMD)
- In 2014, the RMD Head Office and all sites gained certification to ISO 9001:2008 which will expire in 2017.