Semi­rara re­mits P1.7 B roy­alty pay­ments in H1

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - DANESSA RIVERA

Semi­rara Min­ing and Power Corp., the coun­try’s largest coal miner, has re­mit­ted over P1 bil­lion in roy­al­ties to gov­ern­ment in the first half of the year on the back of higher coal pro­duc­tion.

The com­pany said it has turned over P1.69 bil­lion in roy­alty pay­ments to the De­part­ment of En­ergy (DOE) dur­ing the pe­riod, a three-fold in­crease from the P595 mil­lion re­mit­tance in the same pe­riod last year.

Of the to­tal, over P1 bil­lion will be re­tained by the na­tional gov­ern­ment while around P676 mil­lion will go to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units where SMPC op­er­ates.

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.

The prov­ince of An­tique will re­ceive P135 mil­lion while the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Caluya and Barangay Semi­rara will re­ceive P304 mil­lion and P237 mil­lion, re­spec­tively.

“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 SMPC pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Vic­tor Con­sunji.

Semi­rara at­trib­uted the surge in re­mit­tances to the in­creased pro­duc­tion and ex­pand­ing op­er­a­tions in its mine site in Semi­rara Is­land.

In the first half of the year, the com­pany’s pro­duc­tion rose by a fifth from 5.88 mil­lion met­ric tons (MTs) to 7.35 mil­lion MT, in­clu­sive of low-grade coal of 772,000 tons. How­ever, coal sales vol­ume slightly dropped four per­cent from 6.6 mil­lion MT to 6.3 mil­lion MT mainly due to tim­ing dif­fer­ence of ex­port de­liv­er­ies.

In the next two to three years, the com­pany is tar­get­ing an an­nual coal pro­duc­tion of 16 MT. Last year, it pro­duced 12 mil­lion MT.

Semi­rara has two op­er­at­ing mines in the is­land, the Molave and Narra Pits, of which about 70 per­cent of to­tal pro­duc­tion is for lo­cal de­mand while the rest for ex­port.

Pre­vi­ously, it had the Unong Mine in the is­land— which ceased op­er­a­tions in 2000 and is now fully veg­e­tated with thriv­ing aquatic pop­u­la­tion in its re­stored lake 17 years af­ter, and the Pa­nian Pit—which was closed in Oc­to­ber 2016 fol­low­ing the de­ple­tion of its mine­able coal re­serves as cer­ti­fied by the DOE.

In 2016, Semi­rara turned over P2.65 bil­lion in roy­al­ties to the DOE, up 47 per­cent from the P1.8 bil­lion it re­mit­ted in 2015.

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

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