The Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant Binga (HEPP) has began operations after SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet (SNAP-Benguet) finally wrapped its rehabilitation program for the project that started three years ago.
SNAP-Benguet said in a statement that the Binga rehabilitation was completed a year ahead of schedule, with no major environmental incidents, specifying that the upgrade is also approved and registered to generate carbon credits under the United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism.
The Binga rehabilitation project, which commenced in May 2010, involved the construction of a new headrace and intake.
The rehabilitation project also included the modernization of plant control systems, replacement of electro-mechanical components and installation of new auxiliary equipment.
Each of the four units of the Binga HEPP was also taken down and replaced with new turbines, generators and main inlet valves. To keep the plant in operation, unit rehabilitation was done one at a time. Rehabilitation of the Unit 4 began in April 2011, followed by Unit 1 in January 2012 and Unit 3 in July 2012. The final unit, which is Unit 2, was completed in July 2013.
From its original capacity of 100 megawatts (MW), the Binga plant now has a nameplate capacity of 125 MW but is capable of generating up to 132 MW.
Binga now generates additional capacity and supplies ancillary services for energy security and grid stability.
The plant, constructed in 1956 and commissioned in 1960, had been operating for almost 50 years when SNAP-Benguet acquired it in 2008, along with its sister facility, Ambuklao, through the government’s privatization program.
SNAP-Benguet is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power. Besides the Binga HEPP, it also owns and operates the Ambuklao HEPP located in Bokod, Benguet.