Location: Grandpuits, France
Operations: production of biofuels, bioplastics and recycled plastics
Capacity: 400,000 metric tons/year of biomass converted into biofuels; 100,000 t/y of bioplastics; 15,000 t/y of recycled plastic waste
Start of production : 2024
In September 2020, Total announced plans to invest more than €500 million to convert its Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform. Biofuels, bioplastics and plastic waste recycling form the backbone of this project, which is part of our strategy to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Grandpuits, a platform for low-carbon energies
A bio-refinery, primarily serving the aviation industry
A biofuels unit with a processing capacity of 400,000 metric tons per year will be commissioned in 2024 to produce:
- Sustainable aviation fuel (170,000 metric tons/year);
- Renewable diesel (120,000 metric tons/year);
- Renewable naptha (50,000 metric tons/year) used to product bioplastics .
The unit will mainly process animal fats from Europe and used cooking oil, supplemented by other vegetable oils such as rapeseed (but excluding palm oil). Priority will be given to local suppliers.
The biofuels from the new plant are primarily intended for the aviation industry. They will therefore contribute to France’s target of incorporating 2% biofuel into jet fuel by 2025, and 5% by 2030, in line with the country’s roadmap.
An immediately available alternative to liquid fuels, biofuels emit at least 50% less CO2e than their fossil equivalents. For this reason, they form one of the pillars of Total’s strategy for meeting the challenge of carbon neutrality.
A PLA bioplastics plant: the first in Europe
Following the success of its first PLA plant in Thailand, which started up in 2018, the Total Corbion PLA joint venture (Total 50%, Corbion 50%) will build Europe’s first PLA plant at the Grandpuits site in France. This second unit is slated to begin operations in 2024.
With a production capacity of 100,000 metric tons per year, it will make Total Corbion PLA the world’s biggest producer of PLA.
PLA1 is a biodegradable and recyclable bioplastic produced from sugar. In terms of performance, it rivals fossil-fuel-based plastics while emitting only a third as much CO2. PLA can be used to make plastic films and rigid packaging and has a wide range of industrial applications, all of which is fueling market growth of 15% a year.
1 Polylactic acid.
A plastics recycling plant: the first in France
The Group will build France’s first chemical recycling plant with Plastic Energy (Total 60%, Plastic Energy 40%). It will have a processing capacity of 15,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year and is scheduled to start up in 2023.
Based on innovative recycling technology, the plant will convert plastic waste into an oil called “TACOIL” through a pyrolysis melting process. This oil will then be used as feedstock for the production of polymers with identical properties to virgin polymers, making them suitable for use in food-grade applications – a major criterion for food packaging businesses.
The plant will help us meet our objective of producing 30% of polymers from recycled materials by 2030.
Two photovoltaic solar plants
Total will build two photovoltaic solar plants, one with a capacity of 28 megawatts-peak at the Grandpuits site, the other with a capacity of 24 megawatts-peak at the Gargenville site, together equivalent to the electricity consumption of 30,000 people.
The plants will be built and operated by Total Quadran, a wholly owned Total affiliate that specializes in renewable energy development and production in France.
Their purpose is to provide green electricity to the new facilities, thereby contributing to Total’s ambition to power all of its industrial sites in Europe this way.
a responsible industrial redeployment with no layoffs
Total will carry out this industrial redeployment with no layoffs thanks to early retirements and internal mobility within the Group’ sites, providing each employee with an appropriate solution. Of the 400 jobs currently at the Grandpuits platform and its associated Gargenville depot in Greater Paris, 250 will be maintained after the conversion. Furthermore, 15 additional jobs will be created at the Grandpuits site in a packaging unit connected to the bioplastics plant.
In addition, the work projects generated by this industrial investment of more than €500 million will create up to 1,000 jobs over the three-year period for construction of the new units.
Total has also carried out a thorough review of the partner companies working on the platform, which together amount to the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs. The Group is committed to supporting each partner company during the industrial repurposing of the site. In its new configuration, the Grandpuits platform will continue to prioritize its partner businesses, which will represent the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs.
Total will, of course, continue to meet all of its contractual commitments to its customers.
Under French law, the project is subject to the process for notifying and consulting employee representatives. Total is committed to pursuing meaningful dialogue with employee representative organizations, and initiated discussions with those bodies in late September.