Alpiq in: Europe

Alpiq milestones – a chronology

Alpiq is a leading Swiss electricity and energy services provider with a European focus. The company is active in electricity generation, as well as energy trading and sales. Alpiq offers its clients extensive and efficient energy services for buildings and plants, transport technology, as well as for power stations and industrial plants.

2015: At the Annual General Meeting, the shareholders elect Jens Alder as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Alpiq is the first European electricity company to receive the ISO 55001 certification for the asset management of hydroelectric power stations. With the Helion Solar Group, Alpiq acquires Switzerland’s largest solar market leader. With Balfour Beatty Rail Alpiq acquires the Italian expert in railway and mass transit electrification systems. Alpiq founds Swiss Decommissioning AG. In future, the Swiss company will offer integrated solutions for the post-operation and dismantling of nuclear power installations, as well as for radiation protection and decontamination. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) awards GridSense the Watt d'Or 2015 energy prize. The new technology stabilises the electricity grid and saves electricity costs. For the first time, Alpiq offers its shareholders the option to subscribe to new Alpiq shares in lieu of a CHF 2 cash dividend. Hence Alpiq strengthens its capital base and improves the financial flexibility of the Group.

2014: Alpiq achieves initial progress in transforming the Group. On the one hand, Alpiq is committed to rescuing Swiss hydropower, on the other, the company is expanding its energy services business. Alpiq’s acquisitions include Flexitricity, the British market leader in the management of networked services. With the acquisition, Alpiq gains access to know-how and new markets in decentralised energy management. Alpiq successfully concludes its buyback of outstanding senior bonds due 2015-2018.  As a result, the company reduces its gross debt. Simultaneously, Alpiq successfully places a new senior bond for CHF 300 million with a tenor of ten years on the market. With the new bond, Alpiq takes advantage of the low interest rate environment and extends its debt maturity profile. Alpiq decides to divest its non-strategic share in Swissgrid AG (34.7%) and initiates the sales process. The funds received through this divestment will be used primarily to decrease net debt. In 2014, Alpiq halves its net debt from CHF 4 billion to approximately CHF 2 billion. 

2013: The Board of Directors adopts the new strategy. Thus, the foundations are laid for the transformation of the Group. Within the framework of the reduction of its net debt, Alpiq sells a number of its shareholdings. These include the sale of its shares in Repower, Romande Energie and SES. At the end of 2013 the new K7 block at the Kladno thermal power station in the Czech Republic is connected to the grid.

2012: Alpiq enters the e-mobility market with Alpiq E-Mobility AG. In addition to a strategic realignment, the ongoing restructuring process entails redundancies and divestments. Alpiq prepares for the transfer of the approximately 1,800 kilometres of high-voltage grid to Swissgrid. The transfer takes place at the beginning of 2013.

2011: Alpiq commissions its 50-MW wind farm in Bulgaria, and enlarges it during the course of the year. The construction work on the 480 MW Veytaux pump storage power station begins and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2015. Following the reactor disaster in Fukushima, the Federal Council suspends the current general licence applications for new nuclear power stations, and subsequently opts to withdraw from nuclear power entirely. In mid-2011 Alpiq announces a comprehensive reorganisation, followed at the end of 2011 by a comprehensive restructuring programme.

2010: Ten years after shutdown, the Cleuson-Dixence power plants again becomes operational. The Bieudron hydroelectric power station alone has a capacity of 1,200 MW. Alpiq also builds its first wind farm in Switzerland. At year-end the company comes to an agreement with Axpo and BKW regarding next steps for the planning and construction of two new replacement nuclear power stations in Switzerland.

2009: Alpiq is created at the beginning of 2009 as a result of the merger of the leading Swiss energy companies Atel and EOS.

Atel (Aare-Tessin Ltd. for Electricity) was founded as a regional electrical utility in 1894, and went on to become a leading Swiss energy company. As an independent service provider, Atel was active throughout Europe in the production, trading and sale of electricity. At the same time it delivered energy services related to all aspects of energy and its applications.

EOS (Energie Ouest Suisse) was founded in 1919 by electricity companies in Western Switzerland. The company operated a large number of hydroelectric power stations in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Coupled with its 1,000 kilometre long high and extra-high voltage grid, its peak load energy from its power plants and its energy trading activities, EOS was a key player in the European market for cross-border electricity trading.

Alpiq's principal shareholders are an EOS Holding consortium (31%), Atel's consortium of Swiss Minority Shareholders (31%), and EDF of France (25%).