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As part of its net zero strategy, global energy company Total will invest €500 million ($583.4 million) into converting its Grandpuits refinery in Seine-et-Marne, France, into a zero-crude platform.

The investment will ensure that by 2024, the energy company’s refinery will house solar plants, produce renewable diesel and bioplastics, as well as recycle.

One solar plant at the Grandpuits site will have a capacity of 28MWp and the other with a capacity of 24MWp at a site in Gargenville.

The plants are intended to contribute to Total’s ambition to provide green electricity to all its industrial sites in Europe.

They will be built and operated by Total Quadran.

The new initiative will also see the refinary produce renewable diesel primarily for the aviation industry

This is designed to align with France’s roadmap for deploying sustainable aviation fuel, which calls for an incorporation target into aviation fuel of 2% by 2025 and 5% by 2030.

The new unit, to be commissioned in 2024, will be able to process 400,000 tons per year, with potential annual production of 170,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel, 120,000 tonnes of renewable diesel and 50,000 tonnes of renewable naphtha, used to produce bioplastics.

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The unit will process primarily animal fats from Europe and used cooking oil, supplemented with other vegetable oils like rapeseed, but excluding palm oil.

Biofuels that reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% compared to their fossil equivalents are one component of Total’s strategy for meeting the challenge of carbon neutrality

Bioplastics will also form a key strand of the refinery’s new focus. In partnership with Corbion, Total will construct Europe’s first manufacturing plant of PLA, a bioplastic that is entirely produced from sugar instead of oil and is biodegradable and recyclable.

The two companies successfully launched their first PLA plant in Thailand in 2018.

Promising annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes, this second plant will begin operations in 2024, which could make Total Corbion PLA the world’s biggest producer of PLA.

Total will cease the refining of crude oil at the platform in the first quarter of 2021 and the storage of petroleum products will end in late 2023.