Wednesday, December 23, 2015

AMBUKLAO DAM

Location: Barangay Ambuklao, Bokod, Benguet, Philippines

Aerial view of Agno River taken while boarding topload on a jeepney


One of the perks of heading to Mount Pulag is to see the majestic Ambuklao Dam and its tributaries. It was during my third climb in Mount Pulag that I requested from our tour operator to drive us to the spillway of the dam. After all, Mr. Kenneth C. Taguilaso, has been our Pulag tour operator for two times already. The spillway is not along the national road and tourists can only go there through private transport. Though driving northward is ascending and so from atop, the dam can be seen like in a bird’s eye view.

Photo taken standing at the edge of the dam's spillway


Not only that, to see the beauty of Benguet where the jeepney drive starts from Baguio City to Ambangeg, I also requested that we are given the chance to board on the jeepney through its topload where everything along the road are visible to my camera to capture every moment. And these pictures in this post are just the proof.

The spillway bridge as captured from a high elevation while boarding a jeep


Ambuklao Dam can be accessed through its entry point in Sitio Ambangol, Brgy. Ambuklao of the Municipality of Bokod of the province of Benguet – known to be a part of a hydroelectric facility. It is another tourist gem of the Philippines. Its main source is coming from Agno River originating from Mount Data where it was built primarily for purposes of hydroelectric power generation. At the same time, its construction was also for the purpose of flood control and irrigation wayback late 1940s.

The dry northern edge of Agno River


As quoted from Wikipedia reference, this dam has a maximum water storage capacity of 327,170,000 cubic metres (265,240 acre•ft), the facility, which is located 36 km (22 mi) from Baguio city, can produce up to 105 megawatts of electricity to Luzon grid.

The national road and Agno River are almost parallel with each other


Under the privatization program of the Philippine government, the management and operation of the dam has been awarded to SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet, Inc. (SNAP-Benguet) on November 28, 2007 through a public bidding along with its neighboring power plant facility Binga. SNAP-Benguet is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway, and Aboitiz Power.

The scenic national road and the bridge leading to Ambuklao Dam


SNAP-Benguet began a massive rehabilitation project that restored Ambuklao to operating status and increased its capacity from 75 MW to 105 MW. The project required the construction of a new intake, headrace and penstock, elevation of tailrace tunnel outlet, de-silting of tailrace tunnel and replacement of electro-mechanical components. In June 2011, Unit 3 became the first turbine unit to go on-line, followed by the other two units. Ambuklao was formally inaugurated in October 2011.

Just one of the rewarding sceneries showcased near Ambuklao Dam


Ambuklao is designed as a peaking plant and is capable of delivering energy and providing ancillary services needed to maintain the grid.

Its health and safety system is internationally certified under the standards of the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001:2007.

Another breathtaking aerial view of Ambuklao dam reservoir


If you opt to stay inside your moving service vehicle, these pictures won't be captured by you. You can take as many pictures as you can while enjoying a topload ride on a jeepney - the usual chartered transport vehicle coming from Baguio City to Ambangeg where Mount Pulag's jump-off point starts.

Water rafts floating at Ambuklao's water reservoir


Don't you know that Ambuklao dam is also the water source of Metropolitan Manila? I am just wondering why some water rafts are floating on it. Could this be a part of the local tourism project? I am not aware of this.

The spillway bridge taken from atop the national road


While approaching the Spillway bridge from its entry point in Sitio Ambangol


Driving to the spillway is just so breathtaking as the whole view slowly unfolds to your naked eyes showcasing the aquamarine color of the dam's water reservoir accentuated with the rich blue skies.

Obviously a hydroelectric facility in form


Driving along the spillway bridge is a view to behold. Its tranquility transcends to you as an observer of the place. The vast expanse of the sight of water sends a feeling of being refreshed.

A marvelous man-made structure yet so natural


There is no doubt, if only this facility is opened in a full-scale for tourism, many will visit this facility and would even frequent their visit to feel a different soothing feeling when you are there.

A perfect place for photography


Tourists can enjoy moments while in this facility. Photographers both the amateur and professional can enjoy capturing pictures from all its angles. There is enough space where guests can enjoy and to their selfie photos.

HOW TO GO THERE

If you want "to do it yourself" visit to this place, this link will be of great help to you.

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