First Gen powers PLDT, Smart sites in Visayas with RE

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led energy company First Gen Corp. and PLDT Inc. are eyeing to expand their partnership on the supply of renewable energy after seven of the telco giant’s facilities in the Visayas have switched to geothermal electricity.

Through a supply partnership with First Gen, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications will be using geothermal energy to power up seven facilities located in Cebu, Samar, Capiz and Iloilo.

The facilities will source their renewable energy supply from First Gen’s 100 percent renewable energy arm and geothermal energy giant Energy Development Corp. (EDC).

“This geothermal switch will allow us to save around P27 million in electricity costs on an annual basis for our seven facilities in the Visayas,” PLDT and Smart chief sustainability officer, first vice president, and head of investor relations Melissa Vergel de Dios said.

“This will also support our broader decarbonization roadmap and will enable us to reduce our emissions by about 16,000 tons this year, which amount to 26 percent of our total target emissions reduction for 2023,” she said.

PLDT and Smart are also exploring further with First Gen the expansion of geothermal energy use for more of their sites across the country, including data centers.

“We have committed to make sustainability part of the way we operate and shall remain steadfast in delivering on our decarbonization targets,” PLDT and Smart president and chief executive officer Alfredo Panlilio said.

“As we turn to renewables and clean energy, we are also supporting the Philippine government’s plan for green energy transition,” he said.

PLDT and Smart disclosed their decarbonization roadmap last year, which targets to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

This covers the transition to renewable energy and green technology solutions to power up their network facilities, data centers, and operational sites across the country.

“In 2016, we made the decision to close our doors to coal-fired power plants to keep our energy portfolio clean and green. It was one of the most significant business decisions we made to show how serious we are in pursuing our decarbonization mission,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Giles Puno said.

“It gives us motivation to continue doing what we do with partners like PLDT. We know that it is only by working together that we can power through to a greener and more progressive future,” he said.

First Gen is looking at expanding its solar and wind portfolio in the country, while also exploring further growth opportunities for geothermal energy abroad.

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