History

EXPLORE TO SCROLL

Established as a pure engine manufacturer in 1943, Bergen Engines delivered its first engine in 1946. The company built a new factory in 1971 at Hordvikneset, north of Bergen, and became a Rolls-Royce company in 1999.

Since 1st July 2013, Bergen Engines is a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, wholly owned by Rolls-Royce. In 2021 Bergen Engines was acquired by Langley Holdings, and the effective completion of the sale is scheduled for 31 December 2021.

Until 1946, the Bergen engines were produced by the shipyard BMV (Bergen Mekaniske Verft). BMV had been purchasing engines from sub-suppliers for many years, but were not satisfied with the low reliability of these engines. and saw the need to Instead of purchasing engines from sub-suppliers, BMV decided to develop their own, high quality engines, that were perfectly adapted to the harsh environment of the Atlantic Sea.

Timeline

1855

Bergen engines can trace its origins back to 1855 with the foundation of the Bergen Mekaniske Verksted (BMV). BMV grew to become one of the leading shipyards in Norway, building iron and steel vessels, boilers and steam engines.

1929

BMV merged with Laxevaag shipyard to become Bergens Mek Verksteder.

1939

The steam engines were too big for smaller ships like fishing vessels – an important industry for the Norwegian economy, and BMV obtained the license to build small auxiliary combustion engines of MV&D construction.

1942

BMV started developing their own combustion engines.

1946

BMV delivered its first six-cylindered propulsion engine based on its own design, the father of today’s modern Bergen series. The engine was named DP6, and it was installed on the 105 foot long wooden fishing vessel Draupne. The BMV diesel engineers had success with innovative two- and four-engine propulsion systems for vessels up to 3000 tdw.

1948

BMV developed a small 4-stroke diesel engine (125 x 145 mm) for buses. The new D-engine was introduced to larger vessels as a ‘multi-engines’ concept. By using a larger gear it was possible to connect two or more engines together on the same propulsion axle. This resulted in the first cargo vessel from a Norwegian shipyard with a Norwegian made diesel engine, the Anne, in 1948.

1951

The engine production was set up as a separate entity within BMV, named BMV Motorfabrikken. The shipyard had now been modernised to build vessels up to 8000 tdw and was further extended to 20.000 tdw tankers by 1956

1953

A new 4-stroke engine, type R, was completed. This engine was more suited for use as auxiliary units, and rapidly replaced the D-engine. The basic design of the 250:360 mm engine lent itself for development with turbocharging and higher pressure and became a success, being built in large numbers up to 1980.

1956

BMV took the initiative to form Normo, a group of independent semi-diesel manufacturers with de-centralized production of a new semi-diesel type Z from 1959 and soon a smaller type T.

1961

An engine for locomotives, the L-engine, was developed, and was soon adapted also for marine use and production. The L-engine was developed continually and remained in production until 1987.

1965

The largest maritime industrial group in Norway, Aker, acquired shares in BMV and became the majority shareholder. This would have a big impact. This year it was decided to relocate the engine production to a new plant at Hordvikneset.

1968

The first part of the new factory at Hordvikneset was commissioned, with 125 employees in the assembly line. The factory was built in a greenfield area bordering on the sea at the northern tip of the Bergen peninsula.

1969

This year Norway changed forever. Oil and gas were discovered in the North Sea and a hectic phase of technology development began. This heralded a new era for the Bergen factory. The engines were heading out into the hostile waters of the North Sea in search for oil, as BMV was asked to build and equip Norway’s new oil rigs and supply vessels. This year, the prototype of a new 250:300 mm V-engine was ready, and the first production engines were delivered.

1971

The second part of the factory at Hordvikneset was ready, and overnight another 600 employees had their workplace shifted to Hordvikneset. Bergen Diesel enjoyed a good market share of auxiliary engines, mainly in vessels built for Norwegian owners in Europe and Japan, while the propulsion market was still covered by the Normo range.

1984

The prototype for of a new, larger engine with cylinder dimensions 320 x 360 was built.

1985

Ulstein Group and Elektro Union purchased BMV. BMV thus became part of a large-scale consolidation of maritime industries where 10-12 independent companies were integrated under the ownership of the Ulstein family. The goal was to extract synergies and scale economies. UT designed ancho handling vessels, platform vessels, and seismic vessels, were now specified with Bergen engines. When recession struck the oil industry in the 80’s, BMV started to look into using as a fuel for stationary power plants. With gas at this time one third of the price of diesel oil, a considerable new market was opening up. The company’s first gas engine was completed in 1985.

1991

The first commercial lean-burn 16 cylindered K-gas engine was delivered to a customer in Denmark. Bergen Diesel was a pioneer in the supply of gas engines of this size for power generation. The new gas engine had high fuel efficiency and low NOx emissions, giving both environmental and economic benefits. Offering large KV-engines with energy recycling from cooling water and exhaust gave a total efficiency well above 90 percent. Bergen Diesel gained a strong position in land-based market segments, especially for power plants. This was one of seven order for power plants in Denmark this year.

1992

Bergen Diesel gained 75 more orders for gas engines for power generation in Denmark in just this year.

1993

By this year 55% of the sale of the company’s medium-speed engines were gas engines for land-based power plants. Soon there were gas orders from Spain and Italy, where the company already held a strong position. Bergen started to supply diesel engines to power hospitals, factories and airports in Spain, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland, France, Great Britain, Iraq and around the world.

1999

Vickers acquired Ulstein, and the Bergen engine factory was caught up in the global consolidation of the maritime technology market. Later the same year, Rolls-Royce purchased Vickers, and established the Rolls-Royce Marine in which Bergen engines was included. At this time the oil price was $10 per barrel. Over the next two years the price tripled. Orders for offshore vessels experienced a boom that lasted for the next ten years. Marine engines were once again the majority of new engine sales.

2000

The first C 25:33 engine was launched in cooperation with Hyundai, with subsequent gas versions.

2003

The B35:40 gas engine series was launched and became a great success both for the marine and power generation market. The engine was at the time rated as the world’s largest lean-burn gas engine.

2011

Rolls-Royce joined forces with Daimler in the acquisition of the German industry group Tognum AG. Tognum consisted of the engine builder MTU Friedrichshafen, MTU Onsite Energy and L’Orange, and injection technology specialist. As part of the transaction Engines Bergen, Foundry Bergen and the subsidiaries in Great Britain, Spain, Italy and India were separated as a stand-alone company, Bergen Engines AS in the Tognum group.

2013

Tognum was renamed to Rolls-Royce Power Systems. The prototype of the B33:45 engine was started up. This new engine series should replace the older versions that originated back to the 1980s.

2014

The new B3X:45 engine platform was launched in the marine market. The first B33:45 was installed in a Norwegian fishing vessel, MS Holmøy. With this series a new generation of engines has been born, fuelling the next phase in the company’s history.

2018

The new B3X:45 engine platform was launched in the land market.

2021

Bergen Engines was acquired by Langley Holdings, entering the power solutions division alongside Marelli Motori and Piller Power Systems. The Langley Group was established in 1975 by Anthony Langley, Chairman and CEO, and employs around 5,000 people across the world, with its main operations in Germany, Italy, France, the UK and in the US.

About

Bergen Engines AS builds iconic medium-speed liquid fuelled and gas fuelled reciprocating engines for marine and land based applications.

Our engines can be found operating in some of the most demanding and hostile environments on earth, both on land and at sea.

Discover more

Our Facilities

Every Bergen engine built is manufactured at our factory in Hordvikneset, near Bergen, in Norway. Our well-invested facilities are situated on a 23 hectares (50 acres) freehold site and extend to over 20,000 square metres (2,000,000 square feet) of production and office accommodation.

Discover more
Get in touch

Want to know more about how we can empower your business? Visit our ‘Contact’ page to speak directly with our team or send us a message here and one of our specialists will get in touch soon.