SMPC studies solar and LNG as energy sources

SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) is investigating solar energy and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as possible energy sources, its senior official said last week.

SMPC President and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun said Business world via email on Wednesday that the company is in the preliminary stages of studying LNG and solar.

On August 16, Isidro A. Consunji, Chairman and CEO of SMPC, told a virtual press briefing that the company plans to diversify into renewable energy (RE) sources.

Ms. Gotianun said that SMPC was initially looking at a number of renewable energy sources such as run-of-river hydro, biomass and wind.

“[U]Unfortunately, after careful consideration, none of them met our technical and investment criteria,” she said.

Ms. Gotianun cited issues around peace and order, fuel sufficiency, resource reliability, land availability and grid connectivity as reasons for considering LNG and solar, instead of the company’s first proposals.

Data from the Natural Gas Division of the Department of Energy (DoE) showed that there are six proposed LNG terminal projects in the Philippines.

These projects include separate floating storage regasification units of Excelerate Energy LP, Shell Energy Philippines, Inc., Vires Energy Corp. and First Gen Corp. Atlantic Gulf & Pacific International Holdings Pte. ltd. proposed a floating storage unit and onshore regasification.

Additionally, Marissa P. Cerezo, director of the DoE’s Office of Renewable Energy Management, said Saturday during a virtual press briefing conducted by the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development that the department is also seeking solve the intermittency problems of variable REs.

“The intermittence is given especially for solar and wind power. These technologies cannot generate electricity 24/7,” she said.

Ms. Cerezo suggested that daytime fluctuations in solar and wind energy sources could be addressed by improving the weather forecasting system.

SMPC said in its August 22 statement that its previous plan to transfer or consolidate DMCI Mining Corp. in SMCP is on hold pending confirmation of mineable reserves from DMCI Mining. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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