First Gen says 80MW geothermal projects set for 2024 launch

FIRST Gen Corp. targets to have 80 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy projects completed by 2024, the company’s president said.

This comes after the completion of the 29-MW Palayan Binary Power Plant, First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno said on the sidelines of BusinessWorld’s economic forum last week.

“That just started operating, so it is ideal when there’s a need for supply. That’s new capacity that’s coming as well,” Mr. Puno added.

First Gen subsidiary Energy Development Corp. (EDC) announced the construction of the binary power plant in Albay in 2021.

Last year, EDC said it would pour in P60 billion in the next three years to drill 40 additional wells in Leyte, Davao, Albay, and Sorsogon.

“When you look at it, there’s P60 billion invested in geothermal, and then for LNG (liquefied natural gas), we invested close to $400 million. And on top of that, the lease of FSRU (floating storage regasification unit),” Mr. Puno said.

In 2023, First Gen and Prime Infrastructure Capital, Inc., through their subsidiaries, signed a 15-year lease agreement over the former’s LNG FSRU in Batangas.

Mr. Puno said that they are waiting for the approval of the Department of Energy to operate at full capacity.

When queried about the necessity for another delivery of LNG cargo, he said: “I believe so. We did not anticipate the surge in demand for electricity due to the elevated temperatures this year.”

First Gen has awarded a contract to Chinese company CNOOC Gas and Power Trading & Marketing Ltd. for the supply of one LNG cargo at approximately 130,000 cubic meters.

The LNG will be used by First Gen’s existing gas-fired power plants in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex.

The awarded contract stemmed from the initiated fifth tender process for LNG cargo in March. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera