September 24, 2020

Within the framework of its net zero strategy, Total will convert its Grandpuits refinery (Seine-et-Marne) into a zero-crude platform. By 2024, following an investment totaling more than €500 million, the platform will focus on four new industrial activities:
• Production of renewable diesel primarily intended for the aviation industry.
• Production of bioplastics.
• Plastics recycling.
• Operation of two photovoltaic solar power plants.
The refinery was commissioned in 1966 to refine crude oil which had just been discovered in the Paris region.
Meanwhile, crude oil refining at the platform will be discontinued in the first quarter of 2021 and storage of petroleum products will end in late 2023. Operations at service stations and airports in the Greater Paris region will not be affected: they will be supplied by the refineries at Donges— currently undergoing a €450 million modernization — and Normandy.
This decision to end its oil refining comes in the wake of an audit conducted over several months on the 260-kilometer Ile-de-France pipeline (PLIF), which carries crude oil from the Port of Le Havre to the Grandpuits refinery.
The refinery was forced to shut down for more than five months in 2019 when a leak appeared on the PLIF, following an earlier leak near Le Havre in 2014. With the approval of government officials, the PLIF’s maximum working pressure was reduced to ensure safe operation. As a result, the refinery could operate at only 70% of its capacity, threatening its long-term financial viability.
The audit found that normal operations at the refinery could be restored only by replacing the PLIF, at a cost of nearly €600 million. Given France’s plans for the energy transition up to 2040, therefore, Total has decided to end its oil refining at Grandpuits and embark on an industrial transformation of the site, backed by a major investment plan.
The Grandpuits facility will become a model zero-crude platform in France, boasting three new industrial units:
• A bio-refinery: Total will construct a renewable diesel unit, primarily producing for the aviation industry. This initiative will contribute to France’s roadmap for deploying sustainable aviation fuel, which calls for an incorporation target into aviation fuel of 2% by 2025 and 5% by 2030.
The new unit, to be commissioned in 2024, will be able to process 400,000 tons per year.
• A bioplastics plant: Total Corbion PLA, a 50/50 joint venture between Total and Corbion, will be constructing Europe’s first PLA manufacturing plant.
Entirely produced from sugar instead of oil, PLA is a bioplastic that is biodegradable and recyclable. The market for PLA is growing up to 15% annually. Demand is rising fast, particularly in the markets for film wrap and rigid packaging and in numerous industrial applications.
• A plastics recycling plant: Total will be constructing France’s first chemical recycling plant with Plastic Energy (Total 60%, Plastic Energy 40%).
• In addition, Total will be building two photovoltaic solar plants, one with capacity of 28 MWp (at the Grandpuits site) and the other with capacity of 24 MWp (at the Gargenville site), which will contribute to Total’s ambition to provide green electricity to all its industrial sites in Europe.
(Source: Total – Image: Grandpuits refinery)