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Total presents French refining roadmap

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On 16 April, Total presented its French refining roadmap to employee representatives. The plan is designed to give each of Total’s refining sites in France the means to perform profitably in a volatile environment. As part of the plan, Total will upgrade the Donges refinery in western France and transform the La Mède refinery in southern France.

Three of Total’s five refineries in France, Gonfreville in Normandy, Grandpuits in the Paris region and Feyzin near Lyon, demonstrated their ability to withstand the deteriorating economic environment in 2013 and 2014 and generate ongoing income streams. The other two, Donges and La Mède, are struggling and are structurally loss making. To address the situation, Total has presented a comprehensive plan to improve both refineries’ performances and secure their long term future:

  • An investment of €200 million to transform the La Mède refinery and in particular create France’s first biorefinery, which will be one of the biggest in Europe, to meet growing demand for biofuels. Crude oil processing will be halted at the end of 2016.
  • An investment of €400 million to upgrade the Donges refinery to capture profitable new markets with low sulfur fuels that meet the evolutions of European Union specifications.

“There are three possible responses to the crisis in the European refining industry. The first is to throw in the towel. The second is to do nothing and perish. The third is to innovate and adapt to meet shifting demand trends. The central focus of Total’s plan for our French refining business is to realign our operations and products to changing markets. The plan that we are presenting today offers sustainable solutions for the Donges and La Mède refineries. It gives both facilities a future and strengthens Total’s refining base in France,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chief Executive Officer of Total. “As was the case for the project to secure the future of the Carling plant in eastern France, the master words for the plan’s deployment are: anticipation and consensus. Total will implement this industrial transformation without layoffs or imposed geographical transfers for non-exempt employees.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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