BAGUIO CITY – Ten years since SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) won the bid for the Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectric power plants, it continues to be a force for positive change in the industry and its host communities.
On June 28, SNAP-Benguet marked its tenth year with a celebration at the Ambuklao hydroelectric power plant in Bokod. SNAP Group President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Yu, SN Power Senior Vice President and Country Director Tor Stokke, AboitizPower Coal Business Unit President and Chief Operating Officer Danel Aboitiz, and Benguet Governor Cresencio Pacalso led the ceremonial switching to remote control operations of Binga from Ambuklao.
The ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Head of Mission Kristian Netland from the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan, Bokod Vice Mayor Pedro Anton, Barangay Ambuklao Captain Arthur Solano, Shakilan ni Ikulos Indigenous Peoples Organization (SNIPO) Chairman Pancho Esnara, and Tinongdan Indigenous Peoples Organization (TINPO) Chieftain Norberto Pacio.
SNAP-Benguet began piloting remote operations in 2016, and will officially begin using the Ambuklao dispatch center to operate Binga hydro in July 2018. “All equipment used to be operated by ten to fifteen people stationed in Binga,” SNAP-Benguet Assistant Vice President and Plant Manager Fernan Tongco explained. “When we rehabilited Ambuklao, we replaced all control systems with state-of-the-art technology so we no longer have any personnel operating from Binga.”
In his message, JSY said, “SNAP-Benguet has consistently demonstrated its purpose to power positive change. It continues to supply reliable, renewable energy to the Luzon grid that sustains the growth of the economy. The foundations that we laid ten years ago are the same foundations that will ground us for the years to come.”
Governor Pacalso in his keynote address said, “We saw how this community has come alive because of the presence of SN Aboitiz [Power] and we hope to replicate the same in the whole province of Benguet. Through the assistance that you’re giving us, we will be able to perform better and give better service. We hope that as you look to the future of SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, please don’t forget the future of the people of Bokod and Itogon and of the course the whole province of Benguet.”
SNAP-Benguet, a joint venture between SN Power and AboitizPower, took over the facilities on July 10, 2008 following a successful bid and privatization process. At its original capacity of 75 megawatts (MW), the Ambuklao hydro was one of the first large hydroelectric power plants in the Philippines and is one of the oldest. After a massive two-year rehabilitation project, Ambuklao was inaugurated in 2011 with an upgraded capacity of 105 MW. The Binga plant, which lies 19 kilometers downstream of Ambuklao, underwent refurbishment in 2010 and was completed in 2013, increasing the plant’s capacity from 100 to 125 MW. It is now capable of generating 140 MW after further uprating.