Sunday, August 3, 2008

Semirara to boost coal exports by 25%

The company, a unit of DMCI Holdings Inc., told the Philippine Stock Exchange it expects coal export sales to reach more than 2 million tons in 2009 from 1.6 million tons this year.
Semirara started exporting coal last year to reduce its dependence on local consumers, such as the country's largest power generation firm National Power Corp (Napocor).
In May, the company said it plans to spend P1.5 billion this year to acquire new equipment to help expand annual capacity by 500,000 tons starting this year to meet rising demand overseas.
Total Semirara coal sales for 2007 rose 72 percent to 3.575 million tons. Of this, 800,000 tons was exported to China, India and Hong Kong and the rest sold domestically.
Semirara intends to raise production by one million metric tons a year and double exports this year after it got an income tax holiday from the Board of Investments.Semirara vice chairman Isidro Consunji said in an interview yesterday that they have already spent $25 million to acquire more equipment to allow the company to raise production.He said production this year will be a little over 4 million MT from 3.5 million MT last year and up to over 5 million MT next year.Consunji explained that Semirara had been hesitant to raise production since the higher their profits are, the higher the rate of royalties and taxes they had to pay the government.He said this changed when the BoI granted them an income tax holiday for the next six years for production above 2.5 million metric tons.
Meanwhile, Semirara also expects to double export volume this year to 1.6 million MT from 800,000 MT in 2007. Consunji added that they may ship more than 2 million MT overseas next year.He said they have received proposals for coal supply agreements from Korea and Japan. Currently, Semirara's exports go to China and India which has strong demand and buyers there will absorb everything they can produce.
COPYRIGHT 2008 Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.
COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning