Lopez Group backs FPHC’s clean energy thrust

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LOPEZ Holdings Corp. on Wednesday said it fully supports investee First Philippine Holdings Corp.’s (FPHC) call for a low carbon future via clean energy.

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Manuel Lopez, chairman and chief executive officer of Lopez Holdings, told the company’s stockholders meeting that clean energy is necessary for the Philippines to be able to fulfill its commitments to the 21st Conference of Parties, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference or COP21.

The commitment includes the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions conditionally by 70 percent by year 2030.

“We must support economic growth with clean energy, to balance our current needs with those of future generations who will have to deal with greater crises from climate change.

We support our government’s thrust to uplift the quality of life of Filipinos through socio-economic interventions, while at the same time creating resilient communities, prepared for disasters and willing to forgo short-term gains in favor of long-term value,” Lopez said.

Lopez said FPHC subsidiary First Gen Corporation has the cleanest portfolio of power plants in the Philippines with electricity generated from steam, water, wind and natural gas.

“Its low carbon intensity means it releases lower carbon dioxide emissions and contributes less to global warming,” he added.

Last week, FPHC said it will aggressively double its wind power capacity in the next three years to help the country reduce its reliance on coal-fired plants.

FPHC president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said FPCH will be spending about $450 million in the next three years to double its wind capacity to 300 megawatts from 150 megawatts currently.

The announcement came after FPHC chairman and CEO Federico Lopez declared that they will not develop, support or invest in any coal-fired power plant in line with global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Lopez Holdings president Salvador Tirina said the company continues to improve its year-on-year financial results, based on the solid performance of FPHC and multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation.

Lopez Holdings owns 46 percent of FPHC and holds a 56 percent economic interest in ABS-CBN.

“Lopez Holdings’ total consolidated assets grew to P358.584 billion in 2015 from P338.724 billion in 2014. This figure mainly includes assets of FPH. Debt-to-equity ratio slightly improved at 3.53x in 2015 versus 3.88x in 2014. Also, book value per share was up at P11.88 a share at the end of 2015 from P10.63 a share in 2014,” Tirona said.

The Lopez Holdings board on Monday declared a P0.20 per share cash dividend to be paid on June 29 to stockholders on record as of June 14. Lopez Holdings began paying out annual dividends in 2011.

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