Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has granted the request of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) for amendment of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued for the proposed Semirara Molave Coal Expansion Project located in Barangay Semirara in Caluya, Antique.
In a disclosure in Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE) on Thursday, the company said that after the review and evaluation of the submitted Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan and upon the recommendation of the EIA Review Committee (EIARC), the DENR has decided to grant the request.
The amended ECC allows a larger total annual production rate of coal of 16 million metric tons compared with 12 million metric tons previously; expands the area of the Molave Pit at West Panian from 300 hectares to 400 hectares; the number of housing units the company is permitted to build from 700 to 1,100; and increases reservoir capacity to 10 million cubic meters from 8.98 million cubic meters.
The existing reservoirs include Sanglay 1, Sanglay 2, Casay, Himalian, and Binaroto.
SMPC was also enjoined by the amended ECC to produce a report detailing the impact of return brine within 60 days of the completion of the detailed design of the company’s desalination plant, the DENR said.
Semirara Mining and Power Corp., a subsidiary of DMCI Holdings Inc., is the country’s largest coal producer, capable of producing eight million metric tons of coal per year, according to the company. It operates one mine (Panian) on Antique Island, with a significant amount of the coal extracted from the mine used as fuel for its two-unit (600MW capacity total) Calaca, Batangas power plant, which is operated through its subsidiary Sem-Calaca Power Corporation.
According to the company, the expansion of the coal operations in Antique will help support an expansion of its power assets, two 150MW units completed last year, with at least one additional 300MW unit scheduled for completion in 2017.