First Gen’s 100-MW Avion plant to reinforce 2015 summer supply
While competitors are solving power supply problems in other parts of the country, Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation takes the forefront of shoring up power supply in the Luzon grid starting summer of 2015 with its planned 100-megawatt Avion aero-derative turbine-equipped power project in Batangas.
In a briefing with reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting, First Gen president Francis Giles B. Puno has indicated that the facility is targeted on-line around March 2015 and it shall serve the biggest power grid’s peaking needs – and could be an alternative to pricier diesel-fired plants.
The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the $120 million power project is under negotiations and due for signing this May, so implementation could advance as anticipated, according to the Lopez firm executive.
The simple cycle power facility, he said, will be built on a fast-track mode and it will be a replication of what the group had done in helping solve the power crisis of the 1990s.
“With foreseen supply constraints in the immediate term, we are excited about the fast-track 100MW Avion power plant using proven aero-derivative technology,” Puno stressed.
Next year’s summer months could be “too hot to handle” for the industry and government policymakers if no capacity additions will come on-line because of the cyclical demand up-ticks while some plants, like the hydros, will be on capacity de-rating mode.
First Gen chairman Federico R. Lopez emphasized that the Avion plant will be the company’s initial step in concretizing their 1,342 megawatts gas power portfolio expansion.
The next project – the 414MW San Gabriel power facility, is for commercial commissioning in 2016 and will be the biggest reinforcement to Luzon electricity supply before President Aquino steps down.
Like what it did for its Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo gas plants, Lopez noted that their forward project developments are “anchored on the demand for natural gas – introducing a cleaner resource into the Philippine fuel mix that was dominated by coal and oil.”
He further averred that “with San Gabriel, we are again at the forefront of efforts to harness state-of-the-art technology in supplying the energy needs of the Philippines,” emphasizing that “we reinforce that with a commitment to cleaner energy.”
The next investment strides for the company will be to put up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal close to its gas-fired power generation facilities. By then, it could also cater to non-power markets, such as the transport sector and the industries by installing a gas pipeline close to these end-users.
First Gen officials said the pipeline to industrial customers in Batangas could be a shorter route of 30 kilometers. These targeted end-users, based on survey, could add up 100MW to the project developer’s potential capacity off-takes.
On LNG supply, Lopez noted that they can take advantage of the reserves of unconventional gas primarily discovered in the North American jurisdiction. (Myrna Velasco)