swb AG

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swb AG

legal form Corporation
founding 1941
Seat Bremen
  • Torsten Köhne, CEO
  • Timo Poppe
  • Olaf Hermes
Number of employees 2,500 (2018)
sales 1,330.8 million euros (2016)
Branch Energy supply, drinking water and communication
Website www.swb.de

The swb AG supplies through its subsidiaries, the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven with natural gas , district heating , drinking water , electricity and sanitation services . The predecessor company Stadtwerke Bremen, which was converted in 1999, was one of the oldest public utilities in Germany. In 2016 swb AG achieved a turnover of 1,330.8 million euros with a total of 2,180 employees and made a profit of 92.6 million euros.



The first gasworks in Bremen went into operation on September 23, 1854. It was located on the site on Theodor-Heuss-Allee (then: Schlachthofstraße), which is now used as the swb administration site, between the slaughterhouse and the main train station, which was built in 1847 . This construction made it possible to expand the street lighting from 165 lanterns in the vicinity of the station to 1,100 lanterns in the entire inner city area.

The first Bremen electricity works was built next to the gas works and was in operation from 1893 until the First World War . It generated direct current from water vapor and provided 633  kilowatts of power. Like gas, electricity was initially used primarily for lighting.

The former coal store of the gas works from 1901 now houses the high-bay warehouse of the swb subsidiary Wesernetz

The energy requirements of the city of Bremen grew. Another gas works was built in 1901 at the Neustädter freight yard. There, gas was produced from hard coal and temporarily stored in a gasometer , which was painted with red and white rectangles based on the Bremen bacon flag and marked the entrance to Woltmershausen . A steam power station in Hastedt has been supplying the city with a further 2,400 kilowatts of electricity since 1905, now three-phase instead of direct current. From 1911 to 1987 a hydropower plant was in operation on the Weser weir .

The old Weser power station in 1987

In 1929 the first district heating power plant was added, which is still used today as a reserve heating plant . It mainly supplied the Bremen-Mitte Clinic with heat. In 1933, 95 percent of all households were connected to the electrical network.

In 1873 the city's first waterworks was opened, which had been built according to plans and under the direction of the architects Böttcher und Ohnesorge. This waterworks supplied the city with drinking water from the Weser , was in operation until 1983 and is one of the landmarks of Bremen. Because of its shape, the people of Bremen call it the upside-down dresser .

In 1935, the longest aqueduct in Europe from the Harz to Bremen, at over 200 kilometers, was built, so that Bremen was able to cover most of its water needs from the Sösetalsperre . After the Second World War , the demand for water increased considerably and Bremen was increasingly supplied with water from the Weser. Since the mid-1960s, Bremen has received its drinking water exclusively from several groundwater works in the direct southern area and from Bremen-North.

Stadtwerke Bremen

On December 18, 1939, the works were grouped under the name Städtische Werke and operated in three departments: Municipal Works - Gas and Water Works , Municipal Works - Electricity Works and Municipal Works - Commercial Administration . With the establishment of Stadtwerke Bremen AG on August 23, 1941, Bremen secured the company’s commitment to the municipality with share capital of 52 million Reichsmarks , after the Reich governor of Bremen and Oldenburg , Carl Röver , tried to establish the E-Werk in 1937 to deliver the state electricity supply Oldenburg .

During the war, the facilities and the supply network of the municipal utilities were badly damaged or destroyed, and the coal supply for the production of gas and electricity deteriorated increasingly. The consequence was frequent interruptions in the energy supply, which collapsed completely at the end of the war. The drinking water supply could in some cases only be maintained by hand pumps on the streets. Until the systems were repaired and sufficient coal supplies were supplied, consumption was rationed through temporary shutdowns.

The company structure of Stadtwerke AG remained after the war, although the individual departments were given a certain amount of independence. The administration building on Schlachthofstrasse (today's Theodor-Heuss-Allee) was expanded considerably in 1952/53 based on designs by the architects Th. Siegfried A. Morschel and GA Henke. In 1954 a new warehouse and workshop was built there.

Bremen-Hastedt power plant

For the construction of the Neue Vahr housing estate for 30,000 to 40,000 people through the Neue Heimat , the municipal utilities developed a modern energy supply concept. In 1959 they built a gas turbine thermal power station that supplies the entire district with electricity and district heating. Other newly built power plants include the Mittelbüren traction power plant (1964/1974), which generates a tenth of the traction current consumed in Germany , and the Hastedt coal and gas power plant (1905/1989), which is responsible for a quarter of Bremen's electricity demand.

Until 1983 the municipal utilities had a 5 percent share in the THTR-300 nuclear power plant . Under the leadership of the chairman Günther Czichon (1984–1994), environmental protection became increasingly part of company policy.

In 1998 the previously independent Stadtwerke Bremerhaven AG was taken over to 100 percent. This appeared from 1999 onwards under the name swb Bremerhaven .

swb AG

Stadtwerke Bremen AG was renamed swb AG in 1999 and privatized. Against the background of the opening of the energy markets, the areas of generation, networks and sales were spun off into independent subsidiaries. In 2000 the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen sold a stake of 51 percent to the Dutch energy supply company Essent . The remaining 49 percent went to EWE AG in Oldenburg in 2003 . The public sector now only had one share in the company through the Bremer Versorgungs- und Verkehrsgesellschaft .

The starting signal for the largest investment project in swb's company history was given by the Supervisory Board in 2005 with the approval of the planning funds for the construction of a new hard coal power plant unit at the Bremen-Hafen power plant . However, the planning was discontinued in 2007. In 2006 the green light was given for the construction of a medium-caloric power plant, which started trial operation at the beginning of 2009.

On August 1, 2008, the previous Abfallverarbeitung Nord GmbH (ANO), which operates the waste-to-energy plant in Bremen , was fully integrated into the swb group. In the further course of the waste treatment north GmbH the swb Disposal GmbH .

In October 2009 EWE AG Oldenburg took over the stake from Essent and has since held 100 percent minus one share. In that year, the Bremen medium-caloric power plant also went into operation at the Hafen power plant .

Two events took place in November 2011: First, the foundation stone for the joint power plant was laid at the Mittelbüren power plant and the Weser power plant was inaugurated on November 30th .

The swb network companies were renamed “wesernetz Bremen GmbH” and “wesernetz Bremerhaven GmbH” on March 1, 2014. This has not changed anything for swb customers. Contact with the network operator for new house connections or the 24-hour fault clearance service remains unchanged. The trigger for the new external appearance of the network companies is a change in the Energy Industry Act on the subject of unbundling. It stipulates that in the case of an integrated energy supplier, such as the swb group, the network company must clearly distinguish itself from sales in terms of its external appearance.

The significance of sales in the various business segments in 2014 was as follows: 66.8 percent came from electricity; 16.9 percent on natural gas; 5.3 percent on water; 4.8 percent on heat; 3.9 percent on waste and 2.3 percent on other.


Through the cooperation with the communications service provider EWE Tel , swb has been offering its own telecommunications products in Bremen and Bremerhaven since 2011 , which were previously offered under the NordCom brand . Another aim is to offer new combinations of telecommunications and energy supply contracts under the swb brand.

Group structure

Swb AG is the parent company of numerous group and associated companies.

Important group companies

  • swb lighting GmbH
  • swb CREA GmbH
  • swb disposal GmbH
  • swb Generation AG & Co. KG
  • wesernetz Bremen GmbH
  • wesernetz Bremerhaven GmbH
  • swb Services AG & Co. KG
  • swb sales Bremen GmbH
  • swb sales Bremerhaven GmbH & Co. KG
  • swb Gasumstellung GmbH

Important holding companies


  • Sigmund Meyer (1873-1935); The industrialist, electric car pioneer and senator managed the Bremen gas and electricity works

See also


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. https://wfb-bremen.de/de/page/wirtschaftsstandort-bremen/grosse-unternehmen-in-bremen
  2. https://www.swb.de/ueber-swb/unternehmen/ffekten-und-zahlen/kennzahlen
  3. Detailed description of the Bremen waterworks in the Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , 1876, Part I – III and Part IV – VII, Verlag Ernst & Sohn. , accessed April 24, 2015.
  4. U. Kirchner, The High Temperature Reactor, Campus Research Vol. 667 (1991)
  5. swb AG: Annual Report 2008, p. 10
  6. press release. EWE AG, October 21, 2009, accessed on October 3, 2010 .
  7. swb AG: Annual Report 2004
  8. http://www.pressebox.de/inaktiv/swb-ag/Telekommunikationsdienstleistungen-nordcom-agiert-ab-30-Mai-unter-swb/boxid/426784
  9. ^ Hans Christoph Graf von Seherr-Thoß:  Meyer, Sigmund. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 17, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-428-00198-2 , p. 373 f. ( Digitized version ).