‘We plan to upgrade the Pantabangan facility by putting 15MW on each of its two 50MW units, and the Masiway facility by 1MW,’ said First Gen Vice Chairman Peter D. Garrucho Jr. in a press conference Monday, after turnover ceremonies at the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) headquarters in Makati city, Philipines.

Apart from upgrading the power plants’ capacities, First Gen will also expand Pantabangan and Masiway by adding units capable of producing 65MW and 13MW, respectively. Garrucho said the upgrades will carried out sequentially with one in mid-2008 and the other by mid-2009, while the expansion would be carried out by mid-2010.

Garrucho said First Gen would source the funding for the upgrade and expansion programmes through the two major fundraising activities it recently undertook, including the initial public offering of First Gen’s shares in the stock market. He added that internally generated funds would also contribute to the expansion programmes.

Last month, the Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant was turned over by PSALM to First Gen, which paid the government privatisation agency US$51.6M in an upfront fee representing 40% of its US$129M bid for the facility in September.

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