Stories

Location: Bergen, Norway

Photographer: Rebekka U. Davidsen

Fjordkraft provides the Brattaule family from Bergen with both electricity and mobile phone services. Harald and Pernille with their sons Håvard and Thomas.

Power to the people

1.2 million Norwegians either live or work in buildings whose power is supplied by Fjordkraft. The reason for the company's fantastic journey since its formation in 2001 is "the golden triangle", or, what’s good for the customers is good for the owners and employees.

Fjordkraft, an electric power supplier partly owned by Statkraft, emphasizes the relationship among customers, owners and employees.

Fjordkraft CEO Rolf Barmen calls it the "golden triangle": "We have to balance this triangle sensibly, and really believe that what is good for our customers is also good for the owners and employees in the long term." 

Fjordkraft has nurtured growth ambitions ever since it was founded. "We want to have more customers when we go to bed at night than when we woke up that morning," says Barmen.

"Living on small margins, making the right decisions every single day, and adapting quickly to change are all part of our corporate culture."

An industrial owner

Statkraft played a key role in establishing Fjordkraft. The aim was to build a large, nationwide company that would supply electricity to end users.

The company is the result of a merger between the energy trading division in BKK and Skagerak Energi that occurred after Statkraft bought shares in both companies.

"Initially we expected the market to consolidate and leave fewer and larger actors," says Kristin Steenfeldt-Foss, Senior Vice President of Industrial Ownership in Statkraft.

"The goal was to be one step ahead by building an efficient company that was equipped to deal with increasing competition, but the pace of development in the market is slower than we envisaged," she adds.

As owner, Statkraft supports the sound industrial development of Fjordkraft.

"A good move in this regard was to release Fjordkraft from service provision agreements with its owners, so that the company could gradually build what Rolf Barmen calls 'the Fjordkraft factory', with an efficient process for serving customers that is tailored to the type of business we operate," says Steenfeldt-Foss. "That's crucial for continued growth."

A good investment

Kristin Steenfeldt-Foss

Kristin Steenfeldt-Foss, senior vice president of Industrial Ownership in Statkraft, is satisfied with Fjordkraft's strong customer focus and growth rate.

Rolf Barmen

Location: Bergen, Norway

Photographer: Øystein Klakegg

Rolf Barmen and Fjordkraft are attracting customers and have major plans for further growth. Fjordkraft's owners (BKK, Skagerak Energi and Statkraft) wish to lay the foundation for further growth and development of the company by listing it on the stock exchange. It is expected that the process will be concluded in 2018.

Proud owner

Its ownership stake in Fjordkraft has been a good investment for Statkraft. "The company has delivered sound growth and profitability in recent years," says Steenfeldt-Foss.

"For us owners, Fjordkraft has meant increased dividends and good value growth. We're proud of Fjordkraft and the strong, customer-focused culture it has developed. The company enjoys a strong profile in the market and scores high on customer satisfaction barometers."

As owner, Statkraft is concerned about ensuring continued growth and value growth for Fjordkraft. "Together with the other owners we wish to lay the foundation for further growth and development of the company by listing it on the stock exchange," says Steenfeldt-Foss.

Harald Brattaule in Bergen is one of many who became a Fjordkraft customer last year. Brattaule and his family consume almost 24,000 kWh annually.

"In Norway electricity prices have remained relatively low for a long time, so I've not been that bothered about who my electricity supplier is," says Brattaule. But like many others customers, he takes a closer look at all his agreements once in a while to check whether it might pay to switch suppliers.

"I discovered that Fjordkraft offered some customer benefits that made good sense, so we decided to switch to them," he says.

Earlier this year Fjordkraft also began offering mobile phone subscriptions to its electricity customers. "I had to do a double take when I saw the price," he says. "I quickly realised that we could save a couple of thousand krone a year if we switched mobile phone service providers, so we jumped at the offer immediately."

Today all the members of the Brattaule family are mobile phone customers of Fjordkraft.

Text: Sissel Fantoft
Photo: Rebekka U. Davidsen, Knut Fjerdingstad, Øystein Klakegg 
The article has also been published in Statkraft's magazine People & Power no. 2/2017.

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Facts

> Fjordkraft's business consists of the buying, selling and portfolio management of electricity.
> Fjordkraft was founded on 1 April 2001 following the merger of BKK Kraftsalg AS and the trading division in Skagerak Energi AS.
> Fjordkraft is owned 48.85% by BKK, 48% by Skagerak Energi and 3.15% by Statkraft. Statkraft owns 49.9% of BKK and 66.62% of Skagerak Energi.
> The owners are laying the foundation for further growth through a stock exchange listing. It is expected that the process will be concluded in 2018.

19. Dec. 2017