As a major industrial operator in Europe, we have a responsibility to take the lead in our industry. We need to anticipate and adapt to new market requirements to support the profound transformation taking place in refining and petrochemicals as part of a proactive approach to social responsibility.
An innovative social approach for the future of our industrial sites
The European market is currently experiencing a sustained decline in the consumption of oil products, as well as a significant imbalance between supply and demand. In response to these trends, we have reduced our refining capacities and substantially adapted our industrial facilities to ensure our sites’ future operations.
It is essential that all stakeholders not only anticipate this transition, but be actively involved to ensure its success. Our socially responsible approach hinges above all on cooperation, as well as on keeping all of our employees in jobs that match their individual skills.
We also serve as a major economic partner in our host regions, contributing to their social, economic and environmental development. As part of this role, we actively undertake economic development initiatives in partnership with local municipalities and national governments.
A responsible transition at the Carling platform
Located in eastern France near the German border, our Carling-Saint-Avold petrochemical platform is set to become the Group’s European center for hydrocarbon resins, as well as Europe’s premier polymer site. By 2016, we will invest €160 million to restore Carling’s competitiveness and allow it to serve changing European demand.
Our employees and partners have our full support throughout this transition. The project will not result in any layoffs or forced mobility; we are looking to offer each employee a tailored solution. At Total, we believe that making the most of our teams’ skills helps maintain a strong and sustainable industrial presence in our host regions.
Converting the Flanders site to meet commitments
European refining is feeling the effects of a long-term, structural decline in the consumption of oil products. This situation has led us to take the necessary step of ceasing refining activities at our site in Dunkirk, France.
The Flanders site now houses three new facilities:
- A strategic oil depot for the surrounding region.
- The Oléum training center, which provides training for technicians and operators in real-life conditions. This is the world’s first refining training school.
- The ATCO technical assistance center, which provides on-site assistance to other Group refineries.
In each case, we trained our employees for their new positions. Currently, there are over 200 people working on site.
BioTfueL, a pilot plant for second-generation biodiesel and bio-jet fuel will open at Flanders by the end of 2016. Belgium-based Ecophos also intends to set up a feed phosphate plant at the site.
In addition to our social policy, we have demonstrated our long-term commitment to the region through:
- Investment and financial support for companies in the Dunkirk industrial basin.
- The creation of an LNG terminal in partnership with EDF and Fluxys.
- The creation of an industrial platform to revitalize the region.
- A partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help local businesses develop their employees’ skills.