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Semirara’s coal biz cushions effects of plant shutdowns

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SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC)’s net income stood at P8.1 billion by end-June, 3% higher than what it generated a year ago, as its coal business cushioned the effects of the plant shutdowns of its power unit.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, the Consunji-led firm said the coal business posted improved margins year-on-year due to a recovery in global coal prices last June.

Coal sales went up 9% to 6.9 million metric tons (MT), as demand from domestic customers increased by 11%, alongside the 6% increase from coal exports.

This led to a 35% jump in core profits for the coal business in the first half to P7.2 billion, compared to the P5.3 billion recorded in the same period in 2017.

Production, however, dropped by 2% year-on-year to 7.2 million MT. On a quarterly basis, production declined by around one million MT.

The power unit, SEM Calaca Power Corp. (SCPC), recorded a core profit of P373 million for the period, down 60% from the P1.15 billion it reported in the first half of 2017.

The power plant saw its gross generation go down by 5% to 1,311 gigawatt hours (GWH), as Unit 2’s maintenance shutdown in the first quarter continued until the first week of April. Unit 1 was also shut down briefly in March, but was able to run continuously in the second quarter.

With this, sales volume of SCPC slowed by 3% to 1,355 GWH. Prices however climbed by 10% for the period, allowing the firm to still book 6% higher revenues to P5.4 billiion.

Meanwhile, Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC) posted a 66% decline in core profit to P478 million.

SLPGC also logged a 46% decrease in gross generation to 442 GWH. Its Unit 2 encountered a transmission line fault during the first half, resulting in a brief outage. The company noted that it is now generating at full capacity of 150 megawatts.

“Net of eliminations, coal, SCPC and SLPGC contributed P5.59 billion, P1.72 billion, and P841 million, respectively, for the first half of the year,” the company said.

Shares in SMPC rose 0.47% or 15 centavos to close at P32 each at the stock exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia