DOE defers suspension order on Semirara coal trading
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) has deferred its coal trading suspension order on Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC).

In a disclosure, SMPC said it received a letter from the agency, granting its request to hold in abeyance the implementation of its June 4 Cease and Desist Order (CDO) and suspension of its coal trading accreditation.

The DOE, however, said the deferred suspension order is effective for 30 days or until it resolves SMPC’s case.

The Consunji firm is also allowed to continue its coal trading activities only on existing coal supply contracts/agreements. Therefore, it cannot enter into new contracts.

SMPC should also faithfully comply with all its commitments and obligations under its coal trader accreditation, the DOE said.

In an order dated June 4, the DOE directed SMPC to stop its coal trading activities and operations until further notice for violating the guidelines on the accreditation of coal traders and
registration of coal end-users.

The violation stemmed from the company’s trial shipment to a coal buyer in May.

Last May 23, SMPC supplied Semirara coal to a buyer for a trial shipment of 4,768.73 metric tons (MT) “in order to tap additional market with representation on the part of 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.

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

The DOE ordered SMPC to submit its verified answer allegedly for illegal coal trading operation in Pulupandan Port, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental until July 7.

While it sent its verified answer to the DOE with a prayer for the immediate lifting of the CDO/suspension and for the non-imposition of any administrative fine, the company said it submitted Tuesday “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 is the only vertically integrated energy company in the Philippines that mines its own fuel source – coal.

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