Total to convert oil refinery to plastics recycling and bioplastics facility


Oil company Total has revealed plans to convert its Grandpuits oil refinery in France into a site that will include a chemical plastics recycling plant and a PLA bioplastics facility.

It will also build a bio-refinery for aviation fuel at the site as well as two photovoltaic solar plants.


Total will invest more than €500 million (£453 million) with the facilities due for completion by 2024.

Crude oil refining will be discontinued in the first quarter of 2021 and petroleum products will no longer be stored there in 2023.

Total has revealed that it will own a 60% share in the chemical plastic recycling plant with 40% owned by Plastic Energy.

It will be the first chemical recycling facility in France with the materials produced ideal for food packaging.

The unit will help Total meet its goal of producing 30% of its polymers from recycled materials by 2030.

Total will work on a 50/50 joint venture with Corbion to produce the PLA at the facility. The Total Corbion partnership built its first PLA plant in Thailand in 2018. This second unit will begin operating in 2024 and promises annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes.

This means that the Total Corbion PLA joint venture will become the largest global producer of the material.

Total Refining & Chemicals president Bernard Pinatel said: “With the industrial repurposing of the Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform focused on energies of the future connected with biomass and the circular economy, Total is demonstrating its commitment to the energy transition and reaffirming its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050.

“Grandpuits will remain a major industrial site drawing on the know-how and expertise of its teams and our partner firms will be playing a key role as well.”

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