First Gen cuts off power supply to Nueva Ecija town

Posted at 07/23/12 2:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lopez-led First Gen Hydro Power Corp. (FGHPC) on Monday said it cut off power supply to an electric cooperative owned by the Pantabangan municipal government in Nueva Ecija, after it has failed to pay P80 million in power bills.

A unit of First Gen Holdings, FGHPC owns and operates the Pantabangan-Masiway Hydroelectric Complex and supplies power to the Pantabangan Municipal Electric Services (PAMES).

In a statement, the company said it had to take action after PAMES once again failed to settle more than P80 million in obligations, despite a March 16, 2012 restructuring agreement. PAMES has failed to pay its power bills since 2008.

"We have been trying to hold off on the decision to cut off power supply to PAMES but we cannot afford to delay this action anymore, as we also have a responsibility to keep our operations viable considering that FGHPC also supplies power to two other electric cooperatives, a government agency and an industrial customer.  We trust that the residents of Pantabangan will understand our decision," FGHPC said.

"We are, in the meantime, exploring various options as to how we can assist in providing temporary electrical  supply to critical institutions, such as the public schools in Pantabangan."

Despite the expiration of its power supply agreement in December 2008, FGHPC had continued to supply power to PAMES.

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