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Establishing BioNGV trains for regional rail services (TER) in France could create up to 16,750 jobs by 2030.
Sia Partners estimates that 563 TER trains could be converted to BioNGV between 2025 and 2030 out of a fleet of 930 diesel TER trains. This transformation would therefore affect 61% of the fleet and would result in the consumption of 560 GWh of BioGNV in 2030, the equivalent of the consumption of 2,240 buses. This consumption would represent 1.5% of the quantity of biomethane produced in France in 2030, as estimated by the gas industry. The transformation of TER trains would also improve the environmental impact by reducing CO2 emissions from the TER sector by 175,000 tons per year, or the equivalent of 69,000 passenger cars.
The BioNGV TER sector would represent 16,750 jobs in 2030, driven mainly by the operation and maintenance of 14,600 TER trains. Excluding the operation and maintenance of TER trains, jobs would benefit all professional categories, such as farmers (9%) thanks to the production of green gas (biomethane), but also craftsmen and entrepreneurs (7%), executives and white-collar professions (17%), intermediate professions (22%), other employees (11%) or workers in manual professions (34%).
The BioNGV TER sector would generate 1.5 billion euros in turnover in 2030. Of this total, 1.2 billion would be generated by the operation and maintenance of TER trains. In a more direct context, only 16 million would come from equipment imports, from the installation of BioNGV engines in particular and equipment for refueling stations and methanization units. Across all scopes, direct, indirect and deduced, imports are estimated at 398 million euros, which represents 27% of direct sales. The BioNGV TER sector values a lower use of imports than French industrial production, which reaches 35% of imports, according to INSEE.
The environmental and economic performance of BioNGV trains would support decisions in favor of maintaining non-electrified rail lines. The abolition of the lines would entail a change of transport mode, from train to car, for some people living or working in these municipalities. This change in transport would lead to additional CO2 emissions of around 91,000 tons per year.
In addition, the maintenance of these lines would make it possible to save up to 16,000 rail jobs in the maintenance of rail networks, station workers and the operation and maintenance of the TER network.
Finally, for isolated municipalities, the presence of a rail service would make it possible to maintain a rural dynamic, estimated at 113,000 jobs. These jobs would need to be relocated to large neighboring agglomerations due to a lack of easy access to the municipality.