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Consunji firm expects P767-million settlement payment from PSALM

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By Myrna M. Velasco

Consunji-owned Semirara Mining & Power Corporation is expecting settlement of up to P767 million from state-owned firms Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and National Power Corporation (NPC) relating to dispute on plant capacity nominations that involved its subsidiary Sem-Calaca Power Corporation (SCPC).

Semirara Mining and Power Corporation logo (Courtesy of www.semiraramining.com) | Manila Bulletin

Semirara Mining and Power Corporation logo (Courtesy of www.semiraramining.com) | Manila Bulletin

According to SMPC Chief Finance Officer Junalina S. Tabor, the principal amount is placed at more than P467 million and the interest charges would reach between P250 million to P300 million – although the final figure will be subject to validation by the Commission on Audit.

“SCPC claims the amount of P467,703,077.96 plus interest of 6.0% per annum computed from extrajudicial demand until actual payment,” the Consunji firm has noted in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The case was first resolved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) – in favor of SCPC in July 2011. Subsequently, that was affirmed by rulings of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court – and just recently, by the Commission on Audit (COA) specific to the monetary claims.

In the State audit agency’s verdict, it expressly stipulated that “the interest shall be computed at the rate of 6.0% per annum computed from the date of extrajudicial demand on August 4, 2010 until the finality of the SC decision.”

The claims from the government-run firm will be one of the non-recurring items that the Consunji firm is expecting to be booked on its financial statement this year, according to SMPC President and Chief Operating Officer Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. The other will be the US$14 million insurance claim from the shutdown of the unit-3 of its Calaca coal-fired plant.

On the Consunji firm’s monetary claims with PSALM, Tabor qualified that the final figure on interest charges hast yet to be finalized “because we have not sat down yet with PSALM after the COA decision.”

She added that on the principal amount, PSALM has already agreed to it in principle, “except that they (PSALM officials) need COA decision to review it for purposes of payment.”

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