First Balfour gears up for more infra projects

Published December 7, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

 

TOAST TO 50TH YEAR – First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) officials, led by Chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez (third from left), raise their champagne glasses to celebrate the 50th anniversary of subsidiary First Balfour, one of the country’s leading engineering and construction companies. Also in photo are (from left) Francis Giles Puno, FPH president and COO; Anthony L. Fernandez, First Balfour president and COO; and Dr. Fiorello R. Estuar, First Balfour senior adviser.
TOAST TO 50TH YEAR – First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) officials, led by Chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez (third from left), raise their champagne glasses to celebrate the 50th anniversary of subsidiary First Balfour, one of the country’s leading engineering and construction companies. Also in photo are (from left) Francis Giles Puno, FPH president and COO; Anthony L. Fernandez, First Balfour president and COO; and Dr. Fiorello R. Estuar, First Balfour senior adviser.

 

By James A.Loyola

Marking its 50th anniversary, Lopez-controlled First Balfour, one of the country’s leading engineering and construction companies, is gearing up for more infrastructure projects as the country tries to keep up with the demands of its growing economy.

“The demands of a growing nation like the Philippines are evident in infrastructure that’s bursting at the seams and barely keeping up with our people’s needs,” First Philippine Holdings Corporation Chairman Federico R. Lopez said First Balfour’s 50th anniversary celebration.

He noted that, “First Balfour is in position to help alleviate these gaps in collaboration with many of you, our partners, who are always ready to develop projects that rise to these challenges.”

A subsidiary of FPHC, First Balfour originally began in 1969 as a spin-off of Manila Electric Company’s former power plant and design unit, called the Philippine Engineering & Construction Corporation (PECCO).

In 1976, PECCO changed its name to Engineering & Construction Corporation of Asia (ECCO-Asia) to signal the company’s expansion into the construction of power transmissions, oil refineries, and industrial plants.

First Balfour, as it is known today, emerged after a series of mergers and more name changes spanning almost a decade.

When First Balfour first started out, it relied mainly on business from other Lopez Group companies. It has since then expanded its business by helping more and more projects being undertaken by companies outside the FPH Group. Today, the bulk of First Balfour’s revenues come from non-FPH clients.

First Balfour President Anthony L. Fernandez credited the company’s long-standing success to its capabilities system.

“This milestone is no small feat but I believe 50 years is just the result of having a strong and established capabilities system. While strengthening our core engineering and construction capabilities, we have also developed adjunct capabilities including heavy equipment rental (T1 Rentals), geothermal drilling (ThermaPrime), and concrete and aggregates (Torreverde) to help in project delivery,” he said.

First Balfour’s most recent and prominent projects include the civil works and electrical network for the 150-megawatt Burgos Wind Farm, Southeast Asia’s largest wind farm; the North Extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 completed in 2010, as well as the line’s ongoing rehabilitation and upgrade; and the construction of modern data centers for the Philippine Statistics Authority, ePLDT, and Globe Telecom.

 
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