On its 13th anniversary, renewable energy company SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, Inc. (SNAP-Benguet) looks back on the milestones and partnerships that have shaped its history.
SNAP-Benguet took over the Ambuklao-Binga hydroelectric power complex in 2008 after a successful bid a year earlier under the government’s privatization program. It then deployed its technical expertise to re-operate the Ambuklao plant and increase its capacity from 75 to 105 megawatts (MW); and to refurbish and uprate the Binga facility from 100 to 140 MW.
“Last year, both our Ambuklao and Binga plants had an availability factor of around 98%,” said SNAP-Benguet President and CEO Joseph Yu.
Availability factor refers to a power plant’s reliability, or the percentage of time it is available to provide energy to the grid.
“Our plants also contribute to the stability of the Luzon and Visayas grids through the ancillary services we supply,” he added.
The company also passed the Integrated Management System audit in May 2020, retaining its certifications for quality, environment, occupational health and safety, and asset management systems. The external surveillance audit was done remotely — the first for both SNAP-Benguet and DQS — due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to these operational achievements, SNAP-Benguet has continued to live up to its mission of powering positive change through its corporate social responsibility and sustainability (CSRS) program. Since 2008, the company has undertaken over 400 projects worth P201 million in the province of Benguet, developing and implementing projects on infrastructure, education, livelihood, indigenous culture, governance, health, and the environment in partnership with the local government units, host communities, and indigenous peoples’ organizations.
The company has planted around 160,000 seedlings under its environmental sustainability program, and continues to work with the National Power Corporation (NPC), the DENR, LGUs, and indigenous peoples organization to protect the 85,000-hectare Ambuklao-Binga watershed. SNAP-Benguet has deployed P18.3 million in funding for its watershed management program since 2009.
Through its flagship education program, BRIGHTS (Bridging Gaps in Higher Education through Tertiary Scholarships), 32 college scholars have received funding to cover tuition, school fees, and living or study expenses. Since 2018, the program has enabled five scholars to receive their college diplomas.
From the beginning, SNAP-Benguet has fostered a culture of safety among its employees, business partners, and communities. The Ambuklao and Binga plants have recorded a total of 5.08 million man hours with no lost-time incidents since 2012 and 2013, respectively, and the company pursues continuous improvement in its occupational safety and health practices through regular training and workshops for both employees and contracted personnel. It has also been consistently recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment at the Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan Awards for its achievements in occupational safety and health.
SNAP-Benguet encourages volunteerism and over the years, team members have taken a more active role in both company- and employee-initiated CSR and philanthropic activities.
“We’re proud to have a talented team of individuals in the company – some of whom have served since Ambuklao and Binga’s days as government facilities – along with partners and stakeholders who are committed to powering positive change,” Yu said.
“Thank you for your support and commitment to SNAP-Benguet for the past 13 years. As we forge ahead to the next decade, I know we all remain dedicated to building an even stronger organization, finding solutions to the challenges of our industry, and empowering the nation.”