And at an exceptionally attractive price, too. At the end of tough negotiations the ÖBB decided that VERBUND was to be awarded the contract.
The ÖBB are capitalizing on the liberalization of the power market in the European Union. They put up the supply of electricity to about 1,800 operational facilities all over Austria – railway stations, switch towers, administrative buildings - for tender according to EU directives in the whole of Europe. The electricity requirements of these facilities amount to approximately 150 GWh per year, which corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of 30,000 households. A comparison: This amount of electricity would be enough for one household to watch TV for 700,000 years. In all, the ÖBB need 180 GWh per year in their operational facilities.
VERBUND turned out to be the highest bidder. Mr. Helmut Draxler, ÖBB Chief Executive, is satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations: “We were able to reach the best and most cost-effective – and, on top of that, the Austrian – solution with VERBUND, our longstanding partner.” In addition to their own production, the ÖBB have already been buying electricity from VERBUND for the operation of their trains. “Obviously the ÖBB did very well out of it,” Mr. Hans Haider, Chairman of the VERBUND Board of Management, is pleased about the intensified partnership. “Coming out on top against our tough foreign rivals and being awarded the contract for supplying electricity to the ÖBB is another good result of our aggressive marketing policy. Since the opening of the power market we have been able to keep all of our Austrian customers and win new industrial clients in Austria and abroad.“
Independently from the operating current (50 Hertz) they just bought, the ÖBB need 2,100 GWh of railway current (16.7 Hertz) for the transportation of approximately 180 million passengers and 76 million tons of freight per year. This corresponds to about the annual electricity requirements of the Province of Vorarlberg. 88 % of the railway current are generated exclusively from Austrian hydropower, approximately 1/3 of it by ÖBB-owned hydropower plants.