Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) is an emerging key player in the Philippine power industry, with its significant coal reserves and increasing power generation capacity.
Incorporated in the Philippines on 26 February 1980, SMPC has exclusive rights to explore, extract and develop the largest coal mine in the country. The mine site is located in Semirara Island in Antique province.
After commencing commercial operations in 1983, the Company struggled through operational inefficiencies, debt restructuring, loan foreclosures, falling coal prices and the devaluation of the Philippine Peso.
In April 1997, Philippine Stock Exchange-listed DMCI Holdings, Inc. (DMC) acquired a 40% interest in SMPC’s Common Shares, including PHP2.5 billion of its outstanding loans.
Following SMPC’s sustained financial difficulties, DMC agreed to a debt-to-equity conversion in 1998, raising its total interest in SMPC to 74%.
After gaining a controlling interest in SMPC, DMC appointed a new management team in August 1999. The team was composed of local and expatriate staff.
Since then, SMPC has adopted flexible, cost-efficient and more advanced mining techniques to increase the quantity and improve the quality of its coal production. From an initial annual product coal production of 806,451 tons run-of-mine (ROM) coal in 1997, the Company was able to produce 7.12 million MT ROM coal in 2013.
DMC currently holds 56% ownership of SMPC.
In 2009, the Company acquired two 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plants from the National Power Corporation.
Located in Calaca, Batangas, both units were primarily designed to run as base-load plants using coal from Semirara Island. However, due to low budget allocations from the Philippine government, the plants rapidly deteriorated, reducing their dependable capacity to around 350 MW.
To address the problem, the Calaca plants underwent rehabilitation and retrofitting in 2011. This enabled the Company to deliver additional power to the Luzon grid.
From a rated capacity of 50%, Unit 1 now operates at around 75%. Unit 2 currently operates at around 90%, compared to approximately 66% prior to the rehabilitation.
SMPC plans to increase its total generation capacity by another 600MW, to meet the growing power demand in Luzon and Visayas. The Calaca complex has an environmental compliance certificate for up to 1,800 MW.