• First Gen’s Avion plant to go online this year

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    DESPITE some delay, the 97-megawatt (MW) Avion open cycle natural gas-fired power plant of the Lopez-led First Gen Corp. (First Gen) in Batangas is progressing and is expected to come online by the end of the year.

    “Avion’s a little late. It will come online by the end of the year because there were delays in site preparation,” First Gen president Francis Giles Puno told reporters.

    With a project cost of $100 million to $150 million (P4.68 billion to P7 billion), the plant was originally targeted to be completed and operational by April this year to help address the anticipated power shortage during the summer months.

    Avion is located adjacent to First Gen’s 1,000-MW Santa Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired power plants in Batangas City.

    Through its wholly owned subsidiary Prime Meridian Powergen Corp. (PMPC), First Gen executed supply contracts with the Istroenergo Group (IEG) for the Avion power plant project.

    IEG is an engineering contractor from Slovakia experienced in the construction of aeroderivative gas turbine power plants.

    The Avion plant will use General Electric’s LM6000 PC Sprint aeroderivative gas turbines which can burn natural gas or liquid fuel.

    In the case of the 450-MW San Gabriel combined cycle power plant, Puno said it is expected to be operational by the second quarter of next year.

    The plant will run on Malampaya gas and will have the capability to burn liquid fuel as backup. It will use liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is a clean alternative to coal fuel.
    Puno said the company allocated $700 to 750 million as capital expenditure for both projects.

    He said the electricity generated by the two power plants will be initially traded on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

    First Gen is one of the biggest independent power producers in the Philippines with a total installed capacity of 2,957 MW.

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