SCC, DMC’s main profit driver, could be facing an ABS-CBN type dilemma

Q1 2021 delivered the highest ever quarterly profit for DMC. DMC’s reported net income surged by 165% from 4.25 billion last year to 11.26 billion.

Driving the profit growth is the coal mining and coal power unit, Semirara Mining & Power (SCC). SCC’s net income jumped 544% from 1.3 billion in Q1 2021 to 8.5 billion in Q1 2022.

SCC’s coal mine is located on Semirara Island in the Municipality of Caluya in the northwestern part of Antique Province. The island covers 55 square kilometers (5,500 hectares) and has the largest coal deposit in the country.

To lessen the country’s dependence on imported fuel and secure affordable energy, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued PD 792, the “Coal Development ACt of 1976”. The decree declared Semirara as one of the coal regions in the country, allowing the issuance of Coal Operation Contracts (COC) for the island. SCC’s COC expires on July 14, 2027. SCC’s COC will now be up for extension or renewal or application of a new COC.

President Bong Bong Marcos (BBM) will be seeking viable solutions to reduce power rates to impress the nation. One viable solution to lower the electricity rate in the country is the use of indigenous coal. The Decree issued by his father that allowed the issuance of COC in Semirara was meant to secure affordable energy for the country. He could use just that to lower the electricity rates in the country.

BBM could facilitate the use of the local coal to power the country’s coal plants. Instead of sourcing coal at global market prices, he could facilitate the use of indigenous coal at cost-plus basis. This way he could insulate the country’s electricity rates from the surging global coal prices arising from supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic and geo-political tensions.

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