Power

First Gen recurring earnings fall 15% as electricity demand plunges

First Gen Corp. reported a 15% drop in its first quarter recurring net income to P3.3 billion as the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown squeezed power demand sharply.

“With this unforeseen pandemic, 2020 will be challenging for all. Though electricity is an essential need, First Gen has not been spared from the difficulties. The lockdown imposed in March has translated to lower electricity demand,” said First Gen president and COO Francis Giles B. Puno.

Subsidiary Energy Development Corp. reported flat recurring earnings from its geothermal, wind, and solar platform of P1.3 billion. Despite lower electricity sales, the geothermal company was able to achieve savings in its operating and interest expenses as an outcome of its continuous improvement initiatives.

Recurring earnings from the hydro platform plunged 51% due to lower prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), though partially offset by higher ancillary service sales.

Net earnings of First Gen fell 20% toP3.3 billion owing to lower electricity sales across all platforms, though partially offset by lower interest expenses and taxes. Consolidated revenues from the sale of electricity slipped 10% to P3.6 billion.

Revenues from the natural gas portfolio were 13% lower mainly due to lower average natural gas prices coupled with a decline in the plants’ dispatch.

EDC’s geothermal, wind, and solar revenues accounted for P9 billion or 37%, slightly less by $2 million mainly due to the lower prices at the WESM.

“We are now more than ever strengthened in our strategy to catalyze the country’s movement towards a decarbonized future. We believe that we should leave this place better than when we found it, and First Gen will play a catalyzing role producing more clean and renewable energy projects throughout the Philippines,” Puno said.

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