Total SE, will stop oil refining in the Paris region and spend more than 500 million euros ($582 million) by 2024 replacing its facility with renewable-fuel and bioplastic plants.
The decision reflects rising demand for greener energy and products, as well as a commitment by Total to reduce its exposure to hydrocarbons and curb carbon emissions.
Crude oil refining at Grandpuits will stop in March and storage of hydrocarbons will end in late 2023, Total said in a statement Thursday.
By 2024, the site will focus on production of renewable diesel mostly for aviation, plastic recycling and bioplastics, and the operation of two solar plants. Clients in the Paris region will instead be supplied by Total’s refineries in Normandy and Donges.
“Total is demonstrating its commitment to the energy transition and reaffirming its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050,” Bernard Pinatel, president of Total Refining & Chemicals, said in the statement. Grandpuits accounts for 8 percent of France’s total refining capacity.
The new complex, to be commissioned in 2024, will be able to produce 400,000 tons of biofuels a year, including 170,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel, in line with France’s target for 5% of jet fuel to be renewable by 2030. The rest of the output will be renewable naphtha, used to produce bioplastics, and renewable diesel.
The new unit will process primarily animal fats from Europe and used cooking oil, supplemented with other vegetable oils like rapeseed. It won’t use palm oil, which is blamed by environmental groups for increasing deforestation.