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News > Miner triples royalties to gov’t

Miner triples royalties to gov’t

Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) has tripled its first half royalty payments to the Department of Energy (DOE) to P1.69 billion from P575 million in the same period last year.

The company said the surge in government remittances was driven by its increased production and expanding operations.

Of the P1.69 billion, about P676 million will go to the local government units where SMPC operates. By law, the province of Antique will receive P135 million while the municipality of Caluya and Barangay Semirara will receive P304 million and P237 million, respectively. The rest of the amount, or over P1 billion, will be retained by the national government.

“Our continued partnership with the DOE allows us to create and deliver shared value to the government and our host communities. With the increased royalty payments, they can undertake more programs and projects for our countrymen,” said Victor Consunji, SMPC president and chief operating officer.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991, local government units are entitled to a 40 percent share of royalty proceeds from petroleum, coal, geothermal, hydrothermal and wind resources.

SMPC said that in 2015, its remittances accounted for 83 percent of the P2.2 billion total government royalty collections from energy resource and production wherein Western Visayas, the company’s host region, received the biggest LGU share at nearly P725 million. 

The company is targeting an annual coal production of 16 million metric tons in the next two to three years. Last year, it produced 12 million metric tons of the indigenous fuel. 

Earlier this year, the power firm also signed a partnership with DOE to facilitate the development of a mine-mouth power plant in the province of Antique with an initial aggregate capacity of 50 megawatts.

Mine mouth power plants are those built close to a coal mine wherein the coal is excavated from the dig site placed on a conveyor belt and run directly into the plant. However, DOE did not specify details on the partnership especially for its financing but noted before that it will oversee permitting procedures while SMPC will look for the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

The power plant is being eyed to supply more affordable power to Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and even Palawan.

SMPC is the only power producer in the country that owns and mines its own fuel source, allowing it to generate affordable baseload power for the Luzon and Visayas grids. The coal that it mines in Antique is graded as sub-bituminuous with a heating value of 9,300 British thermal unit per pound, currently the highest quality of coal being mined in the country.


Source: Malaya