The Ambuklao Hyroelectric Plant is located in the mountains of Bokod, Benguet and is about 36 kilometers northeast of Baguio City. The plant was designed to provide 75 MW (megawatts) of energy to the Luzon grid. It utilizes the Agno River which is the longest waterway in the Island of Luzon.
During the 50's the Ambuklao dam was the highest and biggest in the Far East. It is made of earth and rockfull which measures 129 meters in height and 452 meters in length. The elevation of its crest is 758 meters and the roadway that runs through the top of the dam has an elevation of 756 meters. There are 8 Tainter radial gates at the dam's spillway. Each spillway measures 12.5 meters by 12.5 meters and is 127 meters in length. The gross storage capacity of the dam's reservoir is 327,170,000 cubic meters and it has a usable storage capacity of 258,000,000 cubic meters. The drainage area is 686 square kilometers and is 11 km long with a maximum width of 1 km.
Upon the direction of Philippine President Manuel A. Roxas, the National Power Corporation, in cooperation with Westinghouse International, took a survey of the country's hydroelectric potential and prepared the Philippine Power Program in 1948. It's major undertaking was the Ambuklao Power Project. Construction of the project began in July 1950 when President Elpidio R. Quirino was at the helm of the Philippine government. It took six years and 5 months to complete the construction. Operation of this hydroelectric facility finally started on Dec. 23, 1956 during the administration of President Ramon F. Magsaysay. Selected as the contractor for the dam's civil works was the Guy F. Atkinson Company and the Harza Engineering Company of Chicago was hired as the engineering consultant.
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Aside from generation of electric energy, the water held by the dam is used to irrigate the agricultural fields of Pangasinan. The dam helps minimize floods by absorbing the high peak flows by releasing water over longer periods. The Ambuklao Hydroelectric power facility stands as a symbol of one of the biggest accomplishments in power development by the Philippine government, an engineering feat which Filipinos are proud of.
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