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News > Semirara Bullish In Q1 Due to Coal Operations

Semirara Bullish In Q1 Due to Coal Operations

SEMIRARA Mining Corp. expects to have doubled profit in the first quarter, backed by resumption of its coal mining activities, a company official told reporters yesterday.


"We are seeing P2-billion consolidated net income for the first quarter based on preliminary figures compared to last year's P1 billion," Junalina S. Tabor, Semirara vice-president and chief finance officer, said on the sidelines of the company's annual stockholders' meeting held at Manila Polo Club in Makati City.


Asked on the growth driver, Ms. Tabor replied: "From the coal business—we resumed mining operations and we produced higher (volume) as well as reduced our costs."


The company's coal mining operations were suspended in February last year following a landslide in the western portion of its site in Antique.


Coal production in the northern portion of site resumed in April following clearance from the Energy Department.


Ms. Tabor said Semirara's coal business segment booked around P5.4 billion in revenues, higher than last year's P2.7 billion; while the power segment yielded about P1.9 billion compared to the previous year's P3-billion.


At the same time, Semirara Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Isidro A. Consunji said the company expects a good year ahead despite the expected slowdown this quarter.


"For the second quarter, I think it's not so good because we have a problem in the coal plant," Mr. Consunji said, referring to its 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant in Batangas owned and operated by its wholly owned unit, SEM-Calaca Power Corp.


He said that the plant had technical problems, even as the first 300-MW unit is up and running. The second 300-MW unit—which had an emergency shutdown last March—is expected to resume operations this month, according to Mr. Consunji.


But overall, the official said that the outlook for the year "looks good".


Mr. Consunji said the company is also on track with the ongoing expansion of its coal plant.


"By the middle of next year, the 300-MW plant expansion will start commercial operations," he said.


Semirara, through Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp., is currently undertaking the first expansion of the power plant in Batangas, which involves construction of two 150-MW units.


Construction of the second phase expansion, which will involve a 350-MW plant, is expected to proceed this year.


"We will be signing the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract by the end of June this year," Mr. Consunji said, adding it will take around three to four years to build.


He added the plant entails an investment of around 0-525 million, including EPC and operating costs. It will be undertaken by another wholly owned unit, St. Raphael Power Generation Corp.


Semirara was incorporated in 1980 to explore, develop, and mine coal resources on Semirara island in Caluya, Antique, but the company is also involved in power generation through its subsidiaries.


The company's profit rose 18.24% to P7.52 billion last year from P6.36 billion in 2012. Revenue grew 12.59% to P27.64 billion from P24.55 billion, while expenses jumped 11.52% to P20.24 billion from P18.15 billion.


Shares of the company closed P404.80 a piece yesterday, down P6 or 1.46% from P410.80 each on Friday last week.