Monday, June 30, 2008

DMCI unit seeks to double coal production

GMA News
July 30, 2008 3:45pm

MANILA, Philippines - Semirara Mining Corp., a unit of Consunji-owned DMCI Holdings Inc. , is looking to boost its coal production and exports this year, following tax perks given to it by the government.

Isidro Consunji, DMCI president, told reporters on the sidelines of the company's annual stockholders' meeting Wednesday that the company is looking to increase its coal production and exports by 1 million tons this year to a total of 4.5 million tons, and more than 5 million tons in 2009.

Consunji added that it is allotting $25 million for the capital expenditure of the Semirara. The amount will be mainly used to purchase equipment.

The mining unit of DMCI has been granted by the Board of Investments of an income tax break for six years and other perks such as zero tariff on equipment acquisition.

“[We] have to take advantage of this government support, the company is more encouraged to spend more for the improvement of [our] production capacity," he said.

Last year, the company has exported almost 800, 000 tons of coal, with China and India gobbling up most of its products. The rest went to Hong Kong.

“Contrary to rumors that [our] coal is of poor quality, China, India and Hong Kong are very well satisfied with [our] product," Consunji said.

For this year, the company is eyeing to double its exports by two-folds or up to 1.6 million tons, and over 2 million tons next year.

“Anything [we] could produce, China and India would definitely buy, that is how in demand coal is right now following its historically high price in the world market," he said.

At present, Semirara coal are selling between $65 to $75 a ton, and is nearing its various contract where coal is being pegged at $50 per ton.

“For the second half, [we] are confident to meet if not to surpass this export goal since the winter in China further spikes up the demand for coal," Consunji said. GMANews.TV source