By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor
SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) expects its first-quarter energy generation to be lower by at least 20% because of the series of power plant closures during the period, company officials said.
“This year we are down on a year-on-year basis,” Victor A. Consunji, SMPC president and chief operating officer, told reporters after the company’s annual stockholders meeting in Makati City on Monday.
“I don’t know exactly how many megawatts-hours but we’re down more than 20%,” he said.
The projected decline in energy generation for the quarter would be a reversal of SMPC’s robust growth for 2017 when it recorded a 21% increase to 5,202 megawatt-hours (MWh) because of the augmented capacity of Sem-Calaca Power Corp.’s first unit and the higher availability of the second unit.
SMPC’s Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC) also recorded full commercial operation of its two-unit circulating fluidized bed each with a capacity of 150 MW. The two are the company’s only operating power plants. A third project is awaiting regulatory approval on its power supply agreement.
Mr. Consunji said SMPC would be reporting its first-quarter performance later this week, which will disclose in detail the drop in the company’s energy generation. He declined to quantify the corresponding value of the power generation slide.
On Monday, SMPC told the stock exchange that the first unit of Southwest Luzon will continue to be shut down for about 90 days to allow the full completion of repairs of the machine.
“SLPGC power plant have machinery breakdown and business interruption insurance cover. The company is now closely working and coordinating with reinsurers and their technical consultants to reinstate the unit back to full operation,” the company said.
SMPC announced on March 9 that the unit was shut down a few days earlier because of abnormal turbine vibration.
Mr. Consunji said he remains hopeful that the outage would not pull down the overall financial performance of the company this year.
“We’re just projecting a flat [growth rate],” he said.
Isidro A. Consunji, SMPC chief executive officer, said the projected decline in revenues from energy generation would be offset by the company’s coal production.
“It’s more on price than volume,” he said.
SMPC derives revenues mostly from its power and coal business. Last year, the coal segment reached an all-time high production and sales of 13.2 million and 13.1 million tons, respectively. The company took advantage of the improvement in global coal prices and increase in coal capacities.
On Monday, shares in SMPC closed 5.15% lower to P27.65 each.