Semirara to pay P4.28-billion dividend

by Myrna Velasco – May 2, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) has scheduled dividend payout of P4.28 billion to its shareholders, a feat that puts its ratio to 62-percent on this sphere, more than thrice the 20-percent minimum set in the policy.

According to SMPC president and chief operating officer Victor A. Consunji, that was propelled by the company’s buoyant cash generation of P10.8 billion last year.

This will also enable the conglomerate to further finance its growth activities, including the development of its next 700MW St. Raphael coal-fired power project in Batangas, of which joint venture was recently cemented with the power generation arm of the Manila Electric Company.

The third partner in the deal is Japanese firm Marubeni Corporation, which will take on the 20-percent balance; out of the 40-percent equity each cornered by Meralco PowerGen and the Consunji group.

This power development partnership is seen beneficial to them on hopes that they could corner a power supply agreement with partner’s parent firm Meralco – of course within the fiat of the mandated competitive selection process (CSP) on power supply contracting.

With the completion of the initial expansion, the Consunji group already counts up to 900MW of power capacity in its portfolio. And with the blueprinted addition of 700MW, this will jack up its capacity to 1,600MW and about 1,200MW of that would be attributable capacity.

Consunji noted that they are poised for growth in the power sector, despite the technical snags they have encountered in their first 300MW Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation’s (SLPGC) expansion in their Calaca site.

“SLPGC posed a disappointment in 2015 after failing to achieve commercial operation status due to a series of technical issues,” Consunji said.

He expounded that while the two-unit power plant of 150MW capacity each started commissioning early part of 2015 and had been synchronized to the grid around July and August, “fine-tuning and debugging activities are still in progress.”

He added “some equipment needed upgrading and replacement for reliability before the plants will be officially declared commercially available.”

The positive twist for the company though had been that: it was able to corner power supply agreements totaling 222MW capacity for its expanded Calaca facility.

The bilateral power supply deals signed have been with Meralco for 120MW; Visayan Electric Company for 50MW; and GNPower for 52 megawatts.