France’s railway giant SNCF to pay 1.7-bn-euro more for electricity

French national railway company SNCF has said that the electricity bill for passenger trains will rise by nearly 1.7 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in 2023 due to the rise of electricity price.

Speaking to the Senate, Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of the SNCF, on Wednesday added that despite the fact that the SNCF Voyageurs (passenger trains section) buys most of its electricity at a non-market-price, the electricity bill for 2022 will still double, reaching 600 million euros.

“With the price of the moment, we would have at this stage an additional cost for electricity alone of 1.6 to 1.7 billion euros,” he said.

“If we passed on directly (extra cost) to the price of the ticket, we would have to increase the TGV ticket prices by 10 per cent,” the CEO said, adding that “we have not yet decided what we are going to do”.

But he promised that the national company will not “pass on 100 per cent of the costs to the customers”.

As French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne demanded companies in France to prepare an energy plan by September, Farandou said that “there will be no suspension of trains” during winter season, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to local media, the SNCF Voyageurs consumes about 7 terawatt-hour (TWh) of electricity each year in France, equivalent of the production of a nuclear power plant.

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