03. Jul 2019
Total has announced that production of biofuels has commenced at the La Mède biorefinery in the southeast of France. This is the final step in the company’s €275m project that kicked off in 2015, with as aim the conversion of a former oil refinery into a new energies complex.
The La Mède complex now encompasses:
A biorefinery with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes of biofuel per year.
An 8-megawatt solar farm that can supply 13,000 people.
A unit to produce 50,000 cubic meters per year of AdBlue®, an additive that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions from trucks.
A logistics and storage hub with a capacity of 1.3 million cubic meters per year.
A training center offering real facilities and able to host 2,500 learners a year.
The biorefinery can produce 500,000 tonnes of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a premium biofuel. La Mède will produce both biodiesel and biojet fuel for the aviation industry. It was specifically designed to process all types of oil. Its biofuels will be made:
60 to 70% from 100% sustainable vegetable oils (rapeseed, palm, sunflower, etc.).
30 to 40% from treated waste (animal fats, cooking oil, residues, etc.) to promote a circular economy.
As part of an agreement with the Government in May 2018, Total has pledged to process no more than 300,000 tonnes of palm oil per year — less than 50% of the total volume of raw materials needed — and at least 50,000 tonnes of French-grown rapeseed, creating another market for domestic agriculture.
All the oils processed will be certified sustainable to European Union standards. In addition, as part of its palm oil procurement process, Total is taking an extra step by introducing strengthened control of sustainability and respect for Human Rights.
“I’d like to thank the teams for all their hard work these last four years to convert our La Mède refinery,” said Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals. “Biofuels are fully renewable and an immediately available solution to cut carbon emissions from ground and air transportation. When produced from sustainable raw materials, as at La Mède, they emit over 50% less carbon than fossil fuels. Our biorefinery will allow us to make biofuels in France that were previously imported.”