The Binga power plant is currently in operation and undergoing upgrade.
Binga is built a few kilometres downstream of the Ambuklao hydropower plant-. The plant was commissioned in 1960 with a capacity of 100 MW. The 107 m high rock fill dam with an inclined clay core creates an 87 MCM reservoir. The water conduit consists of an intake tower, an 850 m long and 6 m in diameter wide headrace tunnel equipped with a surgical tank and a 2 km long and 6 m in diameter wide tailrace tunnel equipped with surge chamber.
The Binga plant is in operation. The reservoir of Binga is silted. Usable storage capacity is about 13 MCM corresponding to about 10 operating days at 5 peak hours. The electricity generated at Binga, about 350 GWh annually, is traded at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market and sold to open access customers. Binga is also providing ancillary services to the system operator, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. To maximize revenues from the plant, the output is traded mainly during peak hours.
A new intake has been built to address the increased level of siltation in the Binga reservoir.All major power components has been replaced or gone through a major overhaul. The overhaul and upgrade was completed by July 2013. The rehabilitated plant has 4 turbines of 33MW each with a combined average annual production of about 350GWh.
Sustainable development in the local community
SN Aboitiz Power has established a Corporate Social Responsibility fund to enable strategic development projects in all Binga’s host communities. The Fund focuses on supporting self-sustainable and long term projects within Environmental Management, Eco-tourism, Healthcare, Education and Social Infrastructure. Watershed management programs are currently being implemented to help protect the forests and other areas within the impact area of the plant. Binga already provides employment and revenues to the local community.
The Binga upgrade has been approved and registered to generate carbon credits under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Through generation of renewable energy, Binga will replace some of the Philippines’s thermal power production and the UN confirms the project will reduce global CO2 emissions by an estimated 20 000 tonnes annually.