SNAP-Benguet reopens Ambuklao hydroelectric plant

By: 
Sheila Pino
Posted: 28-Oct-2011 / 3 years 3 weeks ago

 

SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet (SNAP-Benguet) has proven that hard work does pay off after the successful rehabilitation and recent reopening of the Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant.
 
The previously decommissioned power plant has been rehabilitated for three years and upgraded to 105-megawatts (MW) from its former 75MW.
 
The local blessing was led by Acting Governor of BenguetCrescencioPacalso and attended by local government officials Congressman Ronald Cosalan, Bokod Mayor Mauricio Macay and Vice Mayor Reynaldo Tello and Ambuklao Barangay Captain Arthur Solano.  
 
The powerhouse tunnel portal which leads to the new Ambuklao powerhouse was presented during the event, along with the Ambuklao rehabilitation project documentary.
 
SNAP-Benguet also awarded the winners of its “Power to Renew” photo, essay writing and poster making contests, which aimed to promote awareness and a deeper sense of pride for Ambuklao.
 
Considered one of the first and largest hydroelectric power plants of its time, Ambuklao underwent three years of extensive rehabilitation and upgrades through the expert guidance of SNAP-Benguet, which won the bid to own and operate the plant and the adjacent Binga power plant in 2007. 
 
On June 1, 2011, Ambuklao’s 35MW Unit 3 turbine commenced commercial operations to the Luzon grid, followed by Units 1 and 2.
 
The plant was shut down in 1999 due to technical problems and heavy siltation in the reservoir brought about by July 1990 earthquake.  Although there had been numerous attempts to revive it, the amount of accumulated silt in the reservoir and intake was too overwhelming for repairs.
 
To address this, SNAP-Benguet applied innovative plugging solutions that were only previously used by the deep-sea oil and gas industry.  It also constructed a new intake and headrace, new penstock, and de-silted and elevated the tailrace outlet.  It replaced all electrical and mechanical equipment which included new turbines, main inlet valves, generators, transformers, control system, circuit breakers and hydraulic structures.  
 
A joint venture between SN Power of Norway, a renewable energy company investing in emerging markets and AboitizPower, a major producer of Cleanergy in the Philippines, SNAP-Benguet also owns the adjacent 100MW Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant which is currently being upgraded to 120MW .  
 
Both plants are the first hydro facilities in the country registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Attributed to SNAP-Benguet’s massive rehabilitation and replacement of all equipment and machinery, this CDM accreditation will earn 180,000 carbon emission credits a year, enough to offset the emissions of 80,000 cars.  
 
Ambuklao’s reopening also signifies the beginning of more benefits to its host community of Bokod.  On top of SNAP-Benguet’s voluntary community development programs that focus on infrastructure, education, livelihood, culture and environmental protection, Bokod will also receive Energy Regulation No. 1-94 (ER-194) host community benefits such as financial assistance for environmental projects which are derived from power generation.
 
Through the Ambuklao Hydroelectric Power Plant’s reopening and SNAP-Benguet’s partnerships with its host communities, the company hopes to pave the way for a brighter future in Benguet. 

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