Aboitiz Group opens Ambuklao dam
- Donnabelle L. Gatdula () - October 26, 2011 - 12:00am

BENGUET, Mt. Province, Philippines  – The Aboitiz Group will commission today the 75-megawatt Ambuklao hydroelectric power plant to provide more power to the Luzon grid.

The rehabilitation of Ambuklao, which started in 2008, was undertaken by SNAP-Benguet Inc., a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp.

“We are very pleased to report that SNAP-Benguet has successfully put online the first 35 MW unit of the Ambuklao plant on June 1, 2011. The remaining two units are expected to go on full operation by the third quarter of 2011. The inauguration of the Ambuklao plant’s new 105 MW capacity will make available clean and renewable energy to millions of Filipinos in the Luzon Grid,” the company said.

In 2008, SNAP-Benguet acquired the 75-MW Ambuklao and 100-MW Binga hydroelectric power plants, located in the municipalities of Bokod and Itogon, respectively, in the province of Benguet after a public bidding held by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

These power facilities were considered among the first large hydroelectric power plants of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) when they were constructed in the 1950s. 

When SNAP-Benguet took over the Ambuklao power facility in 2008, it had been shut down and under preservation by Napocor since 1999 due to technical problems sustained after a major earthquake in 1990.

“Several attempts were made by Napocor to restore the capacity of the plant prior to our acquisition, to no avail,” the company said.

SNAP-Benguet gave its commitment to the government to revive the Ambuklao plant and make it operational again.

Backed by the strong technical expertise of its Norwegian partner SN Power (majority owned by Statkraft of Norway, the leading renewable energy provider in Europe), SNAP-Benguet infused another $280 million, in addition to the $325 million purchase price, to embark on the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Ambuklao and Binga plants not only to restore the capacity of these historic facilities but to also increase them by 105 MW and 120 MW, respectively.

The Aboitiz Group said the rehabilitation of Ambuklao plant alone sets another milestone in the Philippine hydropower industry as the first of its kind in terms of scope and magnitude.

The Ambuklao plant is now also registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and expected to generate 180,000 carbon credits (CERs).

“This is the realization of SNAP-Benguet and the government’s strong and long-term commitment to renewable power for all,” it added.

ABOITIZ GROUP AMBUKLAO AMBUKLAO AND BINGA BENGUET BENGUET INC BOKOD AND ITOGON CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM LUZON GRID MT. PROVINCE NAPOCOR POWER
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