Semirara suspended, fined over coal trading violation

Published November 20, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) has been slapped with one-month suspension and was similarly fined by the Department of Energy (DOE) for its established coal trading violation.

The company disclosed that it was suspended for violating a Circular of the department “due to coal trading or transaction with Gold Anchorage,” which has been known as an unaccredited coal trader.

At the same time, the Consunji-owned firm was imposed with a penalty of ₱1.735 million “due to unabated and continuous coal trading despite suspension of its accreditation.”

SMPC nevertheless indicated that it shall be filing a motion for reconsideration of the DOE’s ruling on its suspension and fines imposition – noting that this is a warranted legal recourse “considering that the said resolution is not yet final and executory.”

And while exerting legal remedies to the case, SMPC noted that it will “continue its coal trading activities to serve its existing customers.”

It was in June this year when SMPC was formally flagged with the alleged coal trading violation – relative to the mandate of DOE’s Circular governing the accreditation of coal traders and registration of coal end-users.

The questioned coal trading activity happened on May 23, 2019 when SMPC reportedly supplied 4,768.73 metric tons (MT) of Semirara coal to buyer Gold Anchorage as a trial shipment.

SMPC claimed that the buyer-firm had given its assurances to it “that it has accordingly submitted and applied for a coal accreditation certificate with the DOE.”

The Consunji firm further narrated that when it was already waved down for a policy breach of the DOE Circular, it “discontinued its supply and any trading with the said buyer.”

SMPC was first served with cease and desist order (CDO) by the energy department in June, but it also sought motion for reconsideration on such – and the DOE eventually lifted the initial order stopping its coal trading activities. That then allowed it to continually trade and sell to customers that it has been serving and to those whom it has been in contract with.

SMPC is supplying coal as a fuel for the electricity generation of several power plant-end users in the country; and is catering to customers overseas via its coal exports.