100 years Axpo

It’s the year 1914 when canton representatives sit down together to create a solid foundation for the electrification of Northeastern Switzerland. They cleverly join forces beyond canton borders and, over the next decade, realise large-scale power plants and transmission grids. Thanks to their farsightedness, the Northeastern Swiss cantons make sustainable development and prosperity possible for their citizens.

They are pioneers and the founders of Nordostschweizerischen Kraftwerke AG, today’s Axpo. But they are also entrepreneurs that take advantage of business opportunities for the benefit of their owners, the cantons. The power plants, as well as Axpo, are part of Switzerland’s national assets.

Electricity is the key energy of the future. In 2014, 100 years after its founding, Axpo is once again faced with great challenges. Axpo will meet these with courage, determination, and perseverance, and continue to advocate secure electricity supply.

Hydropower has long been the core business of NOK, later known as Axpo in Switzerland. NOK builds its own power plant park and participates in large-scale projects such as Grande Dixence. Numerous reservoirs are built in the Alps.

The hunger for energy after the Second World War stretches hydropower to its limits. The first oil and gas power plants are built. In 1964, NOK makes the decision to use nuclear power in Switzerland for economic as well as environmental reasons, and on the suggestion of the Federal Council. When the first man lands on the moon in 1969, block 1 of the Beznau nuclear power plant goes on grid. After the Leibstadt nuclear power plant is commissioned in 1984, a political tug of war thwarts the realisation of further nuclear power plants.

In 2009 NOK becomes Axpo. Production, trading and sales, as well as IT services emerge under one brand in view of electricity market liberalisation in Switzerland.

With 2.1 billion francs, Axpo initiates the largest investment in its history and expands the Linth-Limmern power plant in Glarus. A nearly 1-kilometre long dam and an underground pumped storage plant (1480 MW) are under construction, and expected to go on grid in 2015. Another pioneer project is the participation in the offshore wind farm Global Tech in the North Sea due to its sheer size and exposure. Axpo is the largest producer of electricity from renewable energy in Switzerland, but can only cover a fraction of Swiss demand. Additional nuclear energy projects are suspended after the reactor accident at Fukushima in 2011.

With Axpo Trading AG (formerly EGL AG), Axpo is the only international electricity trader in Switzerland. A project developed by the former EGL for over 10 years is the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. In 2013, TAP is selected and as of 2019 it will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.

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100 Jahre Axpo
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