Alpiq partners with IWB in a pumped storage power station

Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB) will become a new partner in the Nant de Drance pumped storage power station currently under construction. Alpiq is to sell IWB a 15 per cent stake in Nant de Drance SA. With this, the company will hold a 39 per cent interest in the project.

By selling 15 per cent of Alpiq's interest to IWB, the shareholder base of Nant de Drance SA has been enlarged. Subject to the approval of the existing partners, the shareholder base of Nant de Drance SA will look as follows: Alpiq (39 per cent), SBB (36 per cent), IWB (15 per cent), and FMV (10 percent). With this, Alpiq's investment commitment will be reduced by around CHF 300 million.

IWB is a leading Swiss energy company specialising in renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as delivering energy, drinking water and telecoms services to its customers in north-western Switzerland. Alpiq and IWB have been partners for quite some time in the utilisation of hydro power in the Valais through their participation in Grande Dixence S.A.

The Nant de Drance project is one of the most important infrastructure projects in the European energy sector. IWB's acquisition of a stake in the project underlines the major importance of pumped storage power stations for future security of supply. Due to its function as an energy storage facility, the plant is an ideal addition to new renewable energies which generate electricity intermittently. The new power station is scheduled to go into phased operation as of 2017. With a total installed capacity of 900 MW, it is designed to generate approximately 2.5 billion kWh of peak load energy per year. The total cost of the project will amount to around CHF 1.8 billion.