By James A. Loyola
Semirara Mining and Power Corporation is investing P5 billion for infrastructure and heavy equipment with the aim of increasing its mine capacity to 16 million metric tons a year by 2018 from 12 million MT.
In an interview after the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting, Semirara President Victor Consunji said they are boosting capacity as they are optimistic that the demand for coal will continue to grow in the coming years.
“As of now, we have already maxxed out the capacity of our existing equipment and infrastructure. We need to build more storage, lay out more conveyor belts, and buy more mining equipment,” said Semirara Chairman Isidro Consunji.
SMPC is spending P2 billion for additional infrastructure to expand its port facilities as well as for additional conveyor lines, and another P3 billion next year to acquire additional mining equipment such as trucks and extractors, said Semirara Chief Finance Officer Junalina Tabor.
Consunji said they have already taken steps to expand capacity and have already increased it to the current 13 million MT and may soon be able to increase the mine’s output to 14 million MT.
“We’re aiming at 14 million MT. (But) if we do 13 million we should be happy because the weather is a little bit wet,” he added.
Meanwhile, Consunji said earnings this year should be better than last year as indicated by the firms’ performance in the first quarter as well as part of the second quarter.
He explained that growth will come from the higher output of coal, higher volume of electricity produced by with the full operation of its four power plants, as well as the unexpected hike in coal prices.