With the inauguration of the Toray plant on September 26, the former Lacq gas basin has become a major center for carbon fiber production. The Japanese manufacturer will use the facility to produce polyacrylonitrile (PAN), one of the product's base materials. The plant represents a €100 million investment and has created around 60 jobs.
The inauguration shows that it is possible to keep industry alive even when a field's gas resources are running out. Although Total stopped commercial gas production at the site in late 2013, we have worked hard — through Total Développement Régional (TDR) — to prevent this from impacting on the region's industrial vitality. Our strategy was to leave the last 3% of the field's gas so that it can be produced at a low rate for another 30 years. The gas will go to local industry, giving it a guaranteed, cheap supply of energy in the form of power and steam. This competitive advantage was a factor in Toray’s decision to set up operations at the Lacq site.