SMPC asks DOE to ease conditions for lifting cease-and-desist order on coal trading

By Lenie Lectura – July 17, 2019
from Business Mirror

SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) is asking the Department of Energy (DOE) to amend the conditions cited in lifting of the cease-and-desist order (CDO) earlier imposed on the Consunji-led firm’s coal trading operations.

SMPC earlier requested reconsideration with the DOE to hold in abeyance the implementation of its June 4 order pending resolution of the alleged violation and in order not to interrupt SMPC’s ongoing coal trading activities and operations, and renege on its contractual commitments and obligations to its coal buyers.

The DOE, in a letter dated July 12, granted SMPC’s request to hold in abeyance the CDO, subject to four conditions: The order shall take effect for 30 days or until the DOE resolves SMPC’s verified answer, whichever comes earlier; SMPC shall continue its coal trading activities only on existing coal supply contracts/agreements; SMPC shall not enter into new coal supply contracts/agreements; and SMPC shall faithfully comply with all its commitments and obligations under Coal Trader Accreditation No. CT-208-12-0351(R).

“SMPC submits today a rejoinder to DOE with a prayer to amend the conditions, which might limit SMPC’s compliance to its commitment per DOE-approved Work Program,” SMPC said on Tuesday.

SMPC was earlier told by the DOE to submit its verified answer allegedly for illegal coal trading operation in Pulupandan Port, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental.

SMPC supplied Semirara coal to a buyer on May 23, 2019, for a trial shipment of 4,768.73 metric tons in order to tap additional markets on the basis of a representation by the buyer that it has accordingly submitted and applied for a Coal Accreditation Certificate with the DOE on April 5, 2019.

Under the rules, DOE will issue the Certificate of Accreditation and/or Registration or reject the application within 15 working days from receipt thereof.

Unfortunately, on shipment date, the buyer was unable to submit the said accreditation as it was still pending with the DOE. Thereafter, SMPC discontinued its supply and any trading with said buyer.

SMPC said there is an ongoing discussion with the DOE to have this matter resolved immediately.