Oscar M. Lopez (right, foreground), chairman emeritus of parent firm First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH), and Federico R. Lopez (left, foreground), FPH chairman and CEO, lead ribbon-cutting ceremonies to formally open the new training facility. Photo also includes Dr. Fiorello Estuar (center), First Balfour vice chairman and CEO; and Anthony Fernandez (right, background), First Balfour president and COOFirst Balfour launched Friday, 28 Nov. 2014, a new 4,000-square-meter facility in Sucat, Paranaque. The facility, located next to First Balfour’s three other buildings in Sucat, will house among other training gears, a high-tech and computerized simulator for handling various heavy construction equipment, such as bulldozers and excavators.
Federico R. Lopez, chairman and CEO of parent firm First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH), led other FPH and First Balfour officials and employees in ribbon-cutting ceremonies to formally open the new training facility. The ceremonies also marked First Balfour’s 45th anniversary.
Originally called Philippine Engineering and Construction Company, First Balfour was established on Nov. 28, 1969, as a spinoff of the former power plant construction and design unit of Manila Electric Company.
Since its establishment, First Balfour has completed at least 130 projects, many of them major infrastructure -- power plants, expressways, water facilities and high-value buildings -- supporting the country’s process of nation-building. First Balfour also specializes in building clean and green projects; it handled the construction of civil works for the 150-megawatt Burgos Wind Project, considered the country’s biggest wind project.
First Balfour moved from Ortigas Center in Pasig City to its current location in Sucat in 2011. A year later, the facility won recognition and a certification from the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC) as the first Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence. In 2013, the company likewise became the first engineering and construction company in the country to receive the Investors in People (IiP) Bronze Certification.
Anthony Fernandez (left), First Balfour president and COO; and Dr. Fiorello Estuar (right), First Balfour vice chairman and CEO flank Oscar M. Lopez and Federico R. Lopez“We enter into a project with customer satisfaction as an objective. It is a distinguishing feature of First Balfour,” says Dr. Fiorello Estuar, First Balfour Vice Chairman and CEO.
Other big-ticket projects that involved First Balfour included the PLDT Eastern Visayas and Eastern Mindanao digital microwave backbone project; the 215-MW Bauang Power Plant in La Union, the 66-MW Apo Cement Diesel Power Plant in Cebu, and the 72-MW Panay Power Plant in Iloilo. The company later took on the power supply and electrical works of the LRT Line 1 capacity expansion project as well as various pipe-laying and sewage treatment plant projects. First Balfour handled a subcontract to build bridges for the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in the late 2000s. First Balfour’s joint venture with DMCI was likewise awarded in 2008 a design and build contract for the LRT-1 North Extension project connecting the LRT 1 to MRT 3. (Story/photos by Joel Gaborni)