First Gen secures $265-M loan from Germany’s KfW

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The Lopez-led First Gen Corp. has secured a $265 million (P11.5 billion) export credit facility from a German bank to help finance an ongoing natural gas-fired power plant project in Batangas.

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A disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange showed that First Gen’s wholly owned subsidiary First NatGas Power Corp. (FNPC) signed on Friday an export credit facility worth $265 million with KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany (KfW) with a tenor of 13.7 years.

The credit facility will be used to partially finance construction of the 414-megawatt San Gabriel natural gas-fired power project.

“This facility has an export credit guarantee provided by Euler Hermes, acting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany,” First Gen told the stock exchange.

In a statement, First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said construction of the 414 MW San Gabriel plant is progressing, with site preparation and piling activity in Batangas City as well as the manufacturing of key power plant components overseas.

“We need to make sure that the plant is built and commissioned on time as it will provide much-needed additional supply to the Luzon grid in the first half of 2016,” Puno added.

Markus Scheer, a member of the management board of KfW IPEX-Bank, expressed support for the project and said that “after completion, San Gabriel will be the most efficient combined cycle gas-fired power plant not only in the Philippines but in the rest of Southeast Asia, a real showcase project for the energy market in the whole region.”

The San Gabriel project is one of three similar units that First Gen is developing in Batangas City with a total capacity of 1,350 MW.

“We have started pre-development activities for future units that will enable us to accelerate their development and provide additional capacity to the Luzon grid in 2017 due to its tight supply situation,”Puno said.

First Gen is a Philippine power generation company primarily focused on indigenous, clean and renewable fuels. It owns a controlling stake in Energy Development Corp., the largest supplier of geothermal energy in the Philippines.

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