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News > Govt lifts Semirara suspension

Govt lifts Semirara suspension

The Environmental Management Bureau of the Environment and Natural Resources Department lifted the suspension order on the environmental compliance certificate of Semirara Mining and Power Corp.


Semirara disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange it received on August 10 the order from the DENR lifting the suspension of the ECC “on the basis of its findings that there is no adverse effect or damage to the environment in relation to the landslide... at the northern edge of the Panian Mine...”


The landslide on July 17 killed nine miners in Semirara’s East Panian expansion project in Caluya, Antique province.

Semirara, the biggest coal miner, rallied 2 percent to P130 at the stock market following the news, while parent DMCI Holdings Inc.advanced 2.2 percent to P12.78.


The order said Semirara agreed to implement a comprehensive monitoring program on slope movements and ground water conditions to ensure stability.


Semirara also agreed to submit a detailed assessment on the cause of the slope failure and the results of the monitoring.


The Department ordered the conduct of a hazard and operability study within 60 days and an installation of an automatic weather station.

The DENR earlier issued a cease-and-desist order on July 21, 2015 suspending until further notice the company’s ECC for its East Panian expansion project.


A separate investigation of the Energy Department is still ongoing. The department earlier ordered the immediate suspension of the operations of Semirara’s coal operating contract no. 5 due to the incident.


Semirara earlier announced it stopped its coal export shipments to prioritize local consumers in the wake of the suspension of its mining operations in Antique.


The company notified foreign customers Semirara could not schedule further shipments until the department reached a decision on the suspension of the mining operations.


“The concerned government authorities have our full cooperation, and we will do everything we can to manage our limited coal inventory to avert possible supply disruptions to our local power plant and cement customers,” Semirara said.


Semirara has forecast consolidated net income to reach P10 billion this year on additional generating capacity from new power projects and increased utilization of current plants.


Semirara chairman and chief executive Isidro Consunji earlier told reporters it expected an estimated income of P1 billion from the commercial operations of the 300-megawatt coal power plant expansion in Calaca, Batangas this year.


“We are optimistic about our prospects for 2015 and onwards with the 2x300 MW in full operation and the coming on-stream of our 2x150 MW CFB power plants starting second quarter of 2015,” Consunji said.


The Consunji Group acquired the 600-MW Calaca coal-fired power plant from the government in 2009. The plants have since undergone rehabilitation to ensure reliable delivery of power supply.


Source: Manila Standard Today