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Monday, June 24, 2024

Semirara keen on developing 700-MW coal plant in Batangas

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Semirara Mining and Power Corp. remains keen on developing a 700-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas under subsidiary St. Raphael Power Generation Corp.

SMPC president and chief operating officer Maria Cristina Gotianun confirmed the project encountered right-of-way issues which hampered its development.

“We remain interested in pursuing SRPGC, but due to the legal challenges NGCP [National Grid of the Philippines] is facing from property owners due to ROW issues, we do not anticipate moving forward anytime soon,” Gotianun said.

Meanwhile, Gotianun said the company was studying the viability of going into liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We are conducting ongoing studies to assess its viability, capital requirements and price volatility of nat gas,” Gotianun said.

Gotianun earlier said 2024 would be a pivotal period for the company as market prices and demand stabilize.

“Our focus shifts towards boosting coal exports and plant availability, while implementing novel cost-management strategies,” Gotianun said.

She said SMPC expects Sem Calaca Power Corp. unit 2 to operate at its full capacity of 300 MW in the second half, assuming a successful and timely generator swap.

The plant was operating at an average capacity of 175 MW in 2023.

“We anticipate strong performance from the power segment, potentially offsetting anticipated weakness in the coal business due to unfavorable market conditions,” Gotianun said.

She said a 12-MW wind farm on Semirara Island would start operation in the first quarter of 2025, and SMPC anticipates annual savings of P200 million by sourcing energy from the facility, which would also help reduce emissions.

“2024 presents a landscape of opportunities and challenges. Our ability to adapt and execute effectively will define our trajectory and directly influence our financial results. While management cannot guarantee specific outcomes, we would like to assure you that we are well-prepared and firmly committed to enhancing the value of our company,” she said.

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