Location: Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, France
Operations: HVO biodiesel, biojet, Avgas and AdBlue production, logistics and storage hub, training center offering real facilities, solar farm
Capacity: 500,000 metric tons per year of HVO biodiesel
Start of production: July 2019
In 2015, Total announced plans to transform its La Mède refinery into a unique facility in France, dedicated to promising growth vectors for the Group and the region. The facility will notably host France’s first world-class biorefinery. It will enable us to meet the growing demand for biofuels as from mid-2018.
La Mède, One of Europe's largest biorefineries
We have been producing biofuels for more than 20 years and are today the leading distributer in Europe. After solar, biofuels represent our second development focus in renewable energies as well as one of the drivers identified by the International Energy Agency for keeping global warning below 2°C.
Our La Mède biorefinery, the first world-class facility of its type in France and one of the largest in Europe, aims to meet the growing demand for biofuels. Operational as from mid-2018, it will produce 500,000 metric tons of HVO-type biodiesel1 per year. The HVO technology that we have selected is French, developed by IFP Énergies nouvelles and marketed by its affiliate Axens. It produces a high-quality biofuel, similar in nature to fossil fuels and therefore has no adverse effect on engines.
The biorefinery was designed to produce biofuels from all types of oils, be they vegetable, used or residual. All oils used will be certified sustainable according to E.U. criteria.
The La Mède biorefinery project is coupled with a plan for continuous improvement of the facility’s energy efficiency, with the aim of reducing energy consumption by 8% by 2020.
1 Hydrotreated vegetable oil.
A forward-looking multipurpose facility
The creation of the La Mède biorefinery is part of a global transformation project of the platform that includes five other components:
1. Development of Avgas production
The project includes plans to develop the production of Avgas (a fuel used in civil aviation) thanks to the continued operation of the existing reforming unit. Total is France’s sole producer of Avgas. The reforming unit will also enable us to continue to supply the local petrochemical industry and provide the necessary hydrogen to the biorefinery.
2. Creation of a flexible, multimodal storage logistics hub
A new logistics and storage hub for diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil started operations in April 2017. With a capacity of 1.3 million cubic meters, it contributes to the activity of the Marseille Fos Port.
3. Creation of an AdBlue production plant
The facility will include an AdBlue production plant with a capacity of 50,000 cubic meters per year. AdBlue is an additive that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines in trucks and passenger vehicles.
4. Launch of an OLEUM training center
The facility hosts Total’s second OLEUM training center. Modeled after the center of the same name at our Flanders facility near Dunkirk in northern France, this training center for industry professions is one of the world’s few such facilities based in a real industrial complex. The center will be able to train up to 2,000 people a year.
The La Mède OLEUM center will also provide a digital demonstration platform to experiment Group digital projects under real operating conditions in Total’s industrial environment.
5. Construction of a high-efficiency solar farm
In late 2017, a solar farm equipped with high-efficiency cells produced by the Group’s affiliate SunPower will come on stream at the La Mède facility. It will have a production capacity of 8 megawatts, enough to meet the energy needs of a city of 13,000 people.