• Semirara Mining clarifies alleged suspension by DENR

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    CONSUNJI-LED integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) said on Monday that it has not been suspended by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), contrary to information appearing on social media.

    In a statement, the company told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that it “continues to operate and has not been suspended and neither has it been issued any suspension order nor is there any ongoing mining audit or re-audit.”

    “We reiterate that the DENR Environmental Audit conducted in August 2016 cleared the company as compliant with its Environmental Compliance Certificate disclosed to the Exchange on September 19, 2016,” SMPC said.

    The company has also reiterated that its operation is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Energy (DOE).

    It noted that the DOE issued on August 26, 2016 the results of its technical audit confirming that SMPC’s operation does not discharge toxic materials to the mangroves, the sulfur content of coal is below 1 percent, no seaweed farm has been affected and the dumping of overburden materials do not affect nearby communities.

    “This was disclosed to PSE on September 22, 2016,” the company said.

    SMPC is the only power producer in the Philippines that generates its own fuel. It produces over 800-megawatts (MW) of baseload power for the Luzon grid.

    Meanwhile, SMPC said it is setting aside around P320 million for its host community projects this year.
    It said the spending is in line with its 5Es program which aims to reduce poverty and facilitate development in its host community using a sustained, holistic approach.

    SMPC’s 5Es program includes initiatives that address (1) Education and Training, (2) Environmental Stewardship, (3) Employment and Livelihood, (4) Electrification and Basic Infrastructure, and (5) Emergency Preparedness.

    “We expect our CSR spending to grow by around 75% compared to last year’s P186 million because we are building more community infrastructure and livelihood facilities,” SMPC President and COO Victor A. Consunji said in a separate statement.

    Majority of the planned expenditure or about P200 million will be used to construct community and livelihood facilities such as evacuation centers, community park, sea port, river walk and sports facilities.

    Another P65 million will be spent on environmental stewardship projects, which include the establishment of a Semirara Biodiversity Center and progressive inland and mangrove area reforestation. The rest of the CSR budget will be used to fund community nutrition initiatives in Calaca, Batangas.

    “We are closely working with the Department of Energy and the host communities to ensure that our CSR efforts are aligned with the national and local government’s priorities. We want to implement projects that best respond to their needs,” Consunji added.

    In 2015, the 5Es program of SMPC became a finalist under the CSR category of the prestigious Platts Global Energy Awards, touted as “the Oscars of the energy industry”.

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