Sep 092016

MANILA, Philippines – First Gen Corp. will start commercial operations its 97-megawatt (MW) Avion natural-gas fired power plant in Batangas City after securing a regulatory clearance.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, First Gen said its wholly-owned unit Prime Meridian Powergen Corp. (PMPC) received yesterday the certificate of compliance (COC) issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the Avion power plant.

“The certificate on the change of status of the Avion plant to commercial operations is under process with the Philippine Electricity Market Corp., operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM),” the company said.

A COC is required before any generating company can start operating a power project.

The Avion plant, located within the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Barangay Bolbok, Batangas City, was supposed to deliver power during the summer months of 2015.

However, the project faced delays after IstroenergoGroup (IEG) and its Philippine branch company Energy Project Completion Ltd. (EPC), contractors for turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction, failed to comply with their obligations.

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Thus, PMPC terminated the contracts. Slovakian firm IEG was tapped in August 2014 to construct and commission the Avion plant.

Since then, the Avion plant has been undergoing commissioning and testing until the COC was issued.

The commissioning and testing phase of the power facility helped in boosting First Gen’s first half income this year, which rose 19 percent from $95 million in 2015 to $113 million.

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