Semirara: DENR did not suspend our operations

Semirara Mining operations not suspended by DENR

Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) on Monday said their operations have not been suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said it “continues to operate and has not been suspended and neither has it been issued any suspension order nor is there any ongoing mining audit or re-audit.”

“We reiterate that the DENR Environmental Audit conducted in August 2016 cleared the company as compliant with its Environmental Compliance Certificate disclosed to the Exchange on September 19, 2016,” Semirara added.

The company said their operations are under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) jurisdiction.

Semirara said the DOE has released the technical audit results confirming that they “do not discharge toxic materials to the mangroves, the sulfur content of coal is below 1%, no seaweed farm affected and dumping of overburden materials do not affect nearby communities.”

Calaca coal plant

Meanwhile, the SMPC believes that it could kick-start the construction of the 700-MW coal plant in Calaca, Batangas this year.

“Yes, I believe that President [Duterte] will push infra,” SMPC chairman Isidro Consunji told The Manila Standard.

SMPC and the Meralco PowerGen Corp. have formed the St. Raphael Power Generation Corp. to build the coal plant.

“Meralco will buy the output,” Consunji said, as the power distributor has a pending application with the Energy Regulatory Commission to purchase around 400 MW of power from the St. Rafael power plant.

The proposed power plant is the second phase of the Calaca coal-fired plant facility’s planned expansion.

SMPC is the lone power producer in the country that generates its own fuel. It produces around 800 megawatts (MW) of baseload power for the Luzon grid.