FIRST PHILIPPINE HOLDINGS IS A CORPORATION THAT IS CONSTANTLY IN ACTION. WE’RE ALWAYS TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO DELIVER FOR OUR STAKEHOLDERS AND THE FILIPINO PEOPLE.
As part of First Gen’s commitment to providing clean, stable, and efficient energy, the company inaugurated the 414-MW San Gabriel combined-cycle and 97-MW Avion open cycle natural gas-fired power plants in Santa Rita, Batangas.
First Gen owns and operates both plants through two wholly-owned subsidiaries — First Natgas Power Corp. (FNPC) for San Gabriel, and Prime Meridian Powergen Corp. (PMPC) for Avion.
Energy Secretary Alfono Cusi and First Gen Chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez, with First Gen President and COO Francis Giles B. Puno, led the ceremonial switch-on of the new facilities.
The two new plants run on natural gas, the cleanest form of fossil fuel that produces 70% lower emissions than coal when burned.
Moving toward a decarbonized world
“It’s critical that the country looks ahead and anticipates the trajectory of technology and other forces ultimately steering us toward a decarbonized world. It’s an exciting juncture for the country and we have the opportunity to leapfrog old 20th century technology, like coal plants, and instead build for the 21st. But we can only succeed if we seize this pivotal movement with boldness and vision. As the smartest players know, you have to ‘skate to where the puck will be,’” Lopez said in his speech during the inauguration of the two plants.
In constructing San Gabriel, First Gen tapped Siemens AG for the German company’s latest, highly flexible and 59%-efficient gas turbine technology, under the brand name “Flex-Plant”. San Gabriel marks the first time that Siemens has brought a Flex-Plant to the country. The Flex-Plant technology helps enable a more stable and reliable grid amid increasing installations of intermittent energy.
“The clean and flexible characteristics of these power plants also make them ideal partners in the move towards a low carbon world by stabilizing the grid amid any concern on intermittency, particularly from renewable energy plants like wind and solar as we can easily ramp up to meet the energy demands when needed,” Puno pointed out.
“These gas plants are perfectly suitable to support the increasing penetration of renewable energy sources as the cost of installation and operations continue to ride the cost curve reductions. This is a global trend that will be difficult to ignore. We are proving that it is possible to provide for our country’s energy needs, generate jobs that power our economy and run a profitable business without sacrificing the urgent need to protect our environment,” Puno added.
The San Gabriel Flex-Plant can be turned on (and off) on a daily basis in time to serve the power requirements of schools, offices, and shopping malls. Unlike other power plants, it can be online in 10 minutes and ramp up to full capacity in as quickly as 32 minutes. San Gabriel likewise has the ability of being a baseload power plant providing 24/7 service; hence, the Flex-Plant terminology.
Avion is the first power plant in the Philippines to run on aircraft engines for land-based power generation application. It will use two units of the LM6000 PC Sprint aero-derivative gas turbines from General Electric. The Avion power plant has the capability to run not only on natural gas but also on diesel. Avion’s turbines can be online in 7 minutes and can achieve full load in less than 20 minutes. Avion has the capability to do unlimited daily starts and stops to provide power that can stabilize the grid. Such attributes make Avion an ideal merchant peaking plant.
First Gen as the country’s leading clean and renewable energy company
San Gabriel and Avion reaffirm First Gen’s leadership in the use of natural gas, the same fuel for the company’s 1,000-MW Santa Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo power plants. All four plants, which are located in the First Gen Clean Energy Complex in Batangas, comprise roughly 60% of the country’s natural gas capacity.
The 511-MW additional capacity to the First Gen portfolio cements the company’s position as the country’s leading clean and renewable energy company powered by indigenous gas, wind, hydro and solar fuels. The new facilities bring First Gen’s fleet of power plants to 21 with a total installed capacity of 3,470 MW.
Watch highlights of the ceremony here: