Oil Refinery Is Converted into a Biorefinery in France

Total Company has begun production at the La Mède biorefinery located on the site of its former oil refinery in southeastern France. According to the Company’s press release, launched in 2015, the project of converting the oil refinery facility into a new energy complex has entailed the costs of EUR 275 mln.

The new La Mède energy complex consists of:

  • A biorefinery with a production capacity of 500,000 tons of biofuel per year.
  • A solar plant with a capacity of 8 MW;
  • A unit to produce 50,000 cubic meters per year of a special additive compound that can reduce nitrogen emissions from trucks.
  • A logistic center with a warehouse for product storage;
  • A training center that can host 2,500 students a year.

In addition, the Total Company has managed to maintain 250 jobs for its employees at La Mède.

La Mède will produce premium biofuel – both biodiesel and biojet fuel for the aviation industry. At that, the biorefinery is specifically designed to produce biofuel from both vegetable and animal feed. For instance, from 60 to 70 % of its biofuel will be made mainly from palm oil, rapeseed and other energy crops. The remaining 30-40% will be produced from waste, such as animal fats, etc.

Meeting the requirements of the French Government that are aimed at supporting the domestic agricultural sector, Total signed an agreement which provides that biorefinery should use no more than 300,000 tons of palm oil per year — less than 50% of the total volume of raw materials needed. Moreover, Total should buy at least 50,000 tons of rapeseed grown in France.

As to carbon emissions, their reduction at La Mède is expected to be at least 50% compared to the former oil refinery.

“This is what we need to do in Ukraine!” commented Serhiy Savchuk, Head of the State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, on his Facebook page.

Thus, the project has a lot of advantages. It will allow France to:

  • Cut imports of biofuels to France;
  • Reduce carbon emissions;
  • Create hundreds of jobs;
  • Drive business growth in related industries.

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