SMPC sets P4B capex

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    Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) is allotting P4 billion in capital expenditure this year.

    Bulk of the amount or P2.9 billion will be used to purchase mining and support equipment for the coal business while the remaining will be split between Sem-Calaca Power Corp. and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. for their preventive and maintenance programs.

    “2020 was a tough year for us because our coal and power businesses were hit by pandemic-induced market weakness. We are determined to stage a recovery this year.

    However, the magnitude of our recovery will largely depend on how demand and prices will behave following the vaccination rollout, COVID-19 infection rates and loosening of quarantine restrictions,” said Maria Cristina Gotianun, SMPC president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

    At the height of the pandemic last year, the company rescheduled P3.7 billion in capital expenditure to this year “to keep the company afloat.”

    SMPC also deferred hiring for non-core positions, reduced non-essential business expenses and disposed non-core assets.

    Gotianun said to support the recovery plan, the company aims to produce 13 million metric tons of coal this year, roughly equal to its actual production volume last year on account of ongoing remedial measures in Molave North Block 7 in Semirara.

    Last December, SMPC voluntarily deferred mining activities in the area to allow its technical consultants and mining personnel to implement remedial measures to manage the water build-up.

    SMPC is the only vertically-integrated power producer in the country that mines its own fuel source, allowing it to generate affordable baseload power. – Jed Macapagal