First Gen’s profit climbs 4% to $277 million

LOPEZ-LED First Gen Corp. saw a 4% increase in its attributable recurring net income to $277 million for 2023, driven by higher electricity prices and average selling price.

First Gen’s revenues declined by 7% to $2,475 million from $2,667 million in 2022, driven by lower fuel revenues caused by a drop in natural gas and liquefied natural gas prices globally, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

“This was also accompanied by lower electricity output sold by the natural gas platform,” the company said.

The geothermal plants of Energy Development Corp. (EDC), First Gen’s renewable energy subsidiary, saw improved earnings owing to higher electricity prices.

EDC logged recurring earnings of $119 million, higher by 24% from $96 million in 2022.

First Gen’s hydropower platform reached recurring earnings of $4 million, down 23% from $5 million in 2022.

“The Pantabangan-Masiway power plants had a reduction in the volume of electricity sold due to the transfer of its power supply contract to EDC last August 2022, as well as low water reservoir levels,” the company said.

The decline in electricity sold was offset by an increase in Wholesale Electricity Spot Market volumes sold and lower purchases of replacement power.

For its natural gas platform, First Gen saw a 5% drop in recurring earnings to $184 million from $190 million.

Its 420-megawatt (MW) San Gabriel power plant and 97-MW Avion power plant had a higher recurring earnings due to the full availability of both plants last year coupled with lower fuel costs.

Both the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo power plants posted lower recurring earnings attributed to “the incurrence of elevated interest expenses.”

FGEN LNG Corp., the company’s incorporated special purpose vehicle of the Interim Offshore LNG Terminal, started to generate commissioning revenues from its pre-commercial operations.

“FGEN LNG generated revenues of $8 million and a recurring net loss of $20 million in 2023,” the company said.

The natural gas portfolio accounted for 65% of its total consolidated revenues, while 32% came from EDC’s geothermal, wind, and solar plants.

The remaining revenues came from First Gen’s hydro plants and its retail electricity supplier First Gen Energy Solutions.

First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno said that the year 2023 was “a positive year” following the recent developments across the company’s business segments.

“This year, these developments should translate to additions to First Gen’s earnings as the LNG Terminal reaches commercial operations and the effectivity of the terminal lease agreement with Gas Aggregator Philippines, Inc. happens,” he said.

“Casecnan will likewise be a positive addition to the bottom line from day one of its turnover,” he added.

To recall, the 165-MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija was turned over by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. to First Gen in February, with a bid price of $526 million.

On Thursday, shares of the company went down by P0.12 or 0.61% to close at P19.66 each. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera