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Total investing over EUR500 mln to convert its Grandpuits refinery into biofuels and bioplastics plant

October 14/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Within the framework of its net zero strategy, Total will convert its Grandpuits refinery (Seine-et-Marne) into a zero-crude platform and will invest more then EUR500 mln into this project, as per the company's press release.

By 2024 the platform will focus on four new industrial activities: production of renewable diesel primarily intended for the aviation industry, production of bioplastics, plastics recycling and operation of two photovoltaic solar power plants.

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 EUR450 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 PLIFs 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 EUR600 million. Given Frances 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.

With the industrial repurposing of the Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform focused on energies of the future connected with biomass and the circular economy, Total is demonstrating its commitment to the energy transition and reaffirming its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050, says Bernard Pinatel, President of Total Refining & Chemicals. Grandpuits will remain a major industrial site drawing on the know-how and expertise of its teams, and our partner firms will be playing a key role as well.

As MRC wrote before, French energy major Total said in April that its joint USD5 billion petrochemical project with Saudi Aramco in the Saudi city of Jubail would not be hit by planned cuts in investment, although the partners were focused on controlling costs.

We remind that in November 2019, Total disclosed that itis evaluating construction of a new gas cracker at its Deasan, South Korea, joint venture (JV) with Hanwha Chemical.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.


mrcplast.com
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:bioplastics, PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, recikling, Hanwha Total, Saudi Aramco, Total Petrochemicals, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, South Korea.
Category:General News
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