Power, property units to get bulk of capex budget–FPH

Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) said it is allotting some P51 billion for consolidated capital expenditures (capex) this year, more than half of which will be spent on power generation.

This year’s capex is slightly higher than the previous year’s P50 billion, the company said.

Emmanuel Antonio P. Singson, the company’s treasurer and CFO, said some 56 percent of the budget, or about P29 billion, was allocated to its power generation group. This will be for Energy Development Corp.’s drilling and growth initiatives, and for First Gen Corp.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Aya projects.

“Some 35 percent of the budget, or about P18 billion, is allocated to our property sector. The balance of P4 billion is allocated to grow our construction, manufacturing and new businesses in healthcare and education,” Singson said during the company’s stockholders’ meeting on Monday. “We expect our financial performance in 2022 to be relatively flat compared to last year.”

“FPH closed 2021 with a consolidated attributable recurring net income of P10.1 billion, up by 7 percent from last year. Real estate, construction, and energy solutions were our main drivers of growth,” company president Francis Giles Puno said.

First Gen’s natural gas development, through the FGEN Batangas LNG Terminal Project, is targeting to initiate commercial operations by this year.

The company also said FG Hydro initiated the development of the 100-megawatt Aya Pumped-Storage Project in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija. The project is envisioned to be a pioneering variable-speed pumped storage facility in the country.

The project is adjacent to the Pantabangan Hydroelectric Power Plant, which is also owned and operated by FG Hydro.

It will use the Pantabangan and Masiway reservoirs to store energy during off-peak periods when spot prices are low and generate electricity during peak periods when spot prices are high, as well as provide ancillary services for the security and stability of the national grid.

Puno said the company “fared well” amid the pandemic, avoiding the increased prices for coal that the majority of energy players unexpectedly suffered from.

“On an operational level, we focused on protecting our people through our Covid-19 information and vaccination campaign as well as shelter-in-place accommodations.

What we learned is that phenomena such as viruses that affect public health and stronger storms due to climate change will continue to disrupt the way we live until we change the way we do things with resilience and antifragility in mind,” he said.

“This serves as both a challenge and opportunity for FPH. There is a lot of work to be done to achieve decarbonization and regeneration and search for solutions that are bespoke to the Philippine context.”

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