CONSUNJI company’s power generation business reports mixed results. — SEMIRARAMINING.COM

SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp. reported a 61% drop in after-tax income to P2.2 billion in the first semester as quarantine policies enforced since March pulled down coal demand and electricity sales.

The Consunji-led listed firm netted P1 billion in the second quarter, while it booked P1.2 billion in the first three months of 2020.

Its coal business brought P1.8 billion in earnings contribution, almost down by three-fifths. It sold 5.7 million metric tons (MT) of coal between January and June with prices averaging at P1,765 from P2,229 in the same months a year ago.

The company noted the “historic dips” in coal prices, particularly in April when the benchmark Global Coal, Ltd.’s NewCastle prices plunged to $49.30/MT, touted as “the sharpest drop in six years,” according to Semirara President and Chief Operating Officer Cristina C. Gotianun.

Moreover, the company’s power generation segment recorded mixed results.

Sem-Calaca Power Corp. delivered P726 million to the holding firm in the first half from a loss of P242 million previously.

Its energy sales increased by 22% to 1,095 gigawatt-hours (GWh) on volume improvement after it completed the life extension program for its two units, leading to an outage cut of 53% to 2,750 hours.

Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. suffered a P236-million loss, a reversal of its P1.6-billion earnings in the first half of last year, as its energy sales plunged by 43% to 489 GWh with an average price of P2.92 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from P4.73/kWh last year.

“The decrease in spot market prices in April was also staggering,” Ms. Gotianun said. In the month, prices averaged at P1.40/kWh compared with P6.71/kWh in 2019.

Though it claimed to be “largely unaffected” by the pandemic-induced lockdowns, the listed company has deferred P3.75 billion worth of capital expenditure projects to next year as part of its attempt to stay afloat around this time of a public health crisis. — Adam J. Ang