BKW FMB Energie

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BKW Energie AG
Aktiengesellschaft (SWX:BKWN, BX:BKWN)
Industry Electrical power
Founded 1898
Headquarters Berne, Switzerland
Products Production and distribution of electrical power.
Revenue Increase 2.81 billion CHF (2007)
Decrease 436.0 million CHF (2007)
Decrease 245.2 million CHF (2007)
Number of employees
2615 (2007)
Website www.bkw.ch

The BKW Energie AG (BKW, formerly known as Bernische Kraftwerke AG, SWX:BKWN) is a power production and distribution utility with its headquarters in Berne, Switzerland. It also provides gas and heat through a number of subsidiaries or partner companies. It mainly operates in the canton of Berne, but is also present in Italy, Germany and Austria.


Share of the Bernische Kraftwerke AG, issued 5. April 1909

The BKW was founded in 1898 as Aktiengesellschaft Elektrizitätswerk Hagneck. The name was changed to Bernische Kraftwerke AG in 1909. In 1995, it changed to its present name. BKW FMB Energie AG, to emphasize the internationalization of the company's business plan.

It has been quoted on the Berne eXchange since 1969. As from 2003, it is also present at the Swiss Stock Exchange. Major shareholders are the Canton of Berne (52.54%) and the German power company E.ON Energie AG (20.99%, as of 2007).[1]

Power production[edit]

With a yearly energy sale of 24.2 TW·h the BKW is one of the biggest Swiss power utilities. Of them 9.7 TW·h are produced by own plants or by shares in other facilities. As of 2007 the mix is mainly composed by nuclear (61.87%) and hydroelectric (37.96%) power. The remaining is produced by renewable sources like solar, wind or biomass. Due to the necessity to diversify the mix and satisfy the increasing demand, BKW is introducing some fossil fuel power through shares in abroad plants.[1]

Fossil fuel power[edit]

In 2008 a new 800 MW combined cycle gas power plant started operation in Livorno Ferraris (province of Vercelli, Italy). BKW possesses a 25% share.

Hydroelectric power[edit]

BKW produces around 40% of its power through owned or shared hydroelectric plants in Switzerland and Italy.

The owned plants are mainly located in the canton of Berne:[2]

Some of the group companies also produce hydroelectric power. The BKW portion of the installed production are:

The rest is generated through holdings. The production portions of the BKW are:

Nuclear power[edit]

Around 60% of the energy produced comes from nuclear plants. BKW owns the Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant and three shares in other Swiss or French facilities:

Solar Power[edit]

BKW possesses or shares an increasing number of solar plants various size. The most important are:

Wind Power[edit]

JUVENT wind power plant

BKW produces wind power at two plants:

Major future developments[edit]

Biomass power[edit]

Fossil fuel power[edit]

  • In 2008 started the construction of a new 800 MW coal power plant in the city of Wilhelmshaven (Lower Saxony, Germany). BKW takes part to the project with a 33% share (240 MW). It should start production in 2012.[5]
  • BKW is considering to build with other partners a 900 MW coal power plant in Dörpen (Lower Saxony, Germany).[6]
  • The Papierfabrik Utzenstorf AG and BKW are planning to build in Utzenstorf (canton of Berne, Switzerland) a combined cycle gas power plant. It should start operation in 2016 and deliver power, steam and heat.[7]
  • Irsina (province of Matera, Italy) has been chosen as possible location for a planned 400 MW combined cycle gas power plant.[1]

Hydroelectric power[edit]

  • In 2008 started the construction of a new run-of-the-river plant on the Alpbach torrent in Kandersteg (canton of Berne, Switzerland). The 2.6 MW installation should start production in 2009. BKW possesses a 60% share.[8]
  • BKW has an 80% share in a company that is building a new small hydroelectric plant in Wiler (canton of Wallis, Switzerland). The 1.4 MW station should start operation in 2010.[9]
  • Schattenhalb 3 is a new 10 MW hydroelectric power plant which construction started in 2008. It is located in Schattenhalb (canton of Berne, Switzerland) and is planned to start production in 2010. It will be operated by a subsidiary of BKW.[10]
  • BKW and the municipality of Tinizong-Rona (canton of Graubünden, Switzerland) will build a new 7.5 MW plant that will exploit the Errbach torrent.[11]

Nuclear power[edit]

In the 2020s the Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant will probably cease its activity and the contracts for importing nuclear energy from France will expire. The BKW and Axpo founded the Resun AG to prevent the consequent energy lack. Its purpose is to menage the administrative procedure for building two new nuclear plants up to 1600 MW each.

Transmission grid[edit]

BKW provides around one million people in 400 municipalities in canton of Berne and surroundings with power, through its local and distribution networks of up to 132 kV. It also owns 665 km of 220 kV and 56 km of 380 kV lines, although their operation is entrusted to the national transmission company Swissgrid AG.[12]


External links[edit]