Some 300 French companies risk finding themselves in difficulty by the end of the year due to soaring energy costs, Industry Minister Roland Lescure said on Tuesday. “We are talking today about a few dozen companies, a little over 300, which alert us by saying ‘there, I can’t anymore, we will have to do something'”, declared the minister on the antenna of South Radioasked about a “risk of stalling” for certain companies this winter.
“Highly consuming” companies
“These are the companies which are followed by Bercy, which consume a lot of electricity or which have not been able to renegotiate their electricity contracts”, the ministry was told, without being able to specify the number of jobs represented by these closely watched companies. For companies in difficulty, the Minister recalled the existence of a support fund for companies which makes it possible to “limit the damage a little”. “We have a support fund, we are in the process of reducing the criteria, extending it for 2023, to support the companies that need it the most,” said the minister.
He mentioned the famous Duralex glassworks, which decided, faced with the explosion of energy costs, to put its furnace on standby for at least four months from November and place all of its employees on partial unemployment. Its energy bill was “two million euros last year, and 13 million euros this year”, indicated the minister.
“The first fight is European”, however underlined Roland Lescure, about the European gas and electricity market, whose prices make “no sense” and which the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen promised to reform in depth, on September 14th.