By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) has temporarily lifted for 30 days its earlier cease and desist order (CDO) against the coal trading activities of Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) due to an alleged violation of one of its buyers.
SMPC disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that it received late Monday (July 15), the July 12, 2019 letter of the DOE granting its request that the CDO against its coal trading activities be held in abeyance.
“This order (of the DOE) shall be effective for a period of 30 days from today (July 16) or until the DOE resolves SMPC’s verified answer,” the Consunji-led firm noted.
SMPC previously filed its request for reconsideration with the DOE “to hold in abeyance the implementation of its June 4, 2019 order pending resolution of the alleged violation” of one of its coal buyers – primarily in securing the proper accreditation before engaging in coal trading venture.
The overarching concern raised by the Consunji company relative to the CDO directive is on non-interruption of its coal trading activities and operations, because this could redound to it reneging on its contractual commitments with coal purchasers/buyers.
Essentially, if SMPC’s coal trading would be stopped, it could consequently affect the operations of some power plants in the country which have been sourcing part of their coal supply from the Semirara mine.
In the DOE decision temporarily lifting the CDO, it has been specifically stipulated that SMPC shall “continue its coal trading activities only on existing coal supply contracts and agreements.”
The energy department further directed that the Consunji firm “shall not enter into new coal supply contracts/agreements”; and that the company “shall faithfully comply with all its commitments and obligations under coal trader accreditation No. CT-208-12-0351 (R).”
On Tuesday (July 16), SMPC similarly indicated that it submitted its rejoinder to the energy department “with a prayer to amend the conditions, which might limit SMPC’s compliance to its commitment per DOE approved work program.”
It can be culled that on May 23 this year, Semirara supplied coal to a buyer and that was intended as a “trial shipment”. However, the buyer allegedly failed to secure the required certificate of accreditation from the DOE prior to the shipment date.
That then prompted the DOE to issue its June 4 cease and desist order against SMPC – and the application for accreditation of the buyer is pending until now.