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"Total has the ambition to be in the World Top 5 producers of renewable energy"


Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of the Total group, explains why and how the group must convert and takes stock of the future of its 3,700 st

Total presented this Thursday its “green” conversion project for the Grandpuits refinery, for a budget of 500 million euros over four years.

For its CEO Patrick Pouyanné, the group must gradually move out of oil, in favor of renewables.

Maintaining the refining at Grandpuits, that was really no longer of interest?


It would have been necessary to invest 595 million euros, simply to rehabilitate the pipeline which supplies it.

In addition, European refining has been in overcapacity for several years.

And oil needs will decrease further in the coming years.

So we said to ourselves that there might be better things to do with this money.

By creating, for example, a renewable activity.

By using the experience of the reconversion of the Mede

(Editor's note: converted into a bio refinery and solar power plant)


The refinery was losing 100 million euros per year.

Today, she earns 50 million.

Do you ensure that no dismissal is to be feared?

Neither dismissal, nor forced mobility.

Remember when we stopped the Carling steam cracker in Moselle in 2013, we did exactly the same thing.

Ditto with La Mède in 2015. There is no reason for it to be different here.

We will even manage to bring new businesses to the site.

During confinement, we did not call for partial unemployment.

The group was in a position to be able to cope with the crisis itself.

The device was to benefit other companies, more in difficulty.

So it is not now that we are going to start laying off employees.

Are other refinery conversions planned?

Not at this stage.

Afterwards, I would be lying to you if I told you that there will be no follow-up to what we are doing at Grandpuits.

In any case, we also need to ensure the supply of petroleum products for quite a few years.

We will therefore have three crude refineries left.

Normandy and its 1,500 employees.

It is the main platform of the system, in which we invested 1 billion euros at the beginning of 2010. Donges also, in which we invest 450 million euros, to make gasoline to European specifications, while until now its production was mainly intended for the African continent.

And Feyzin, in the Lyon region, unavoidable because it is located at the heart of an activity area focused on chemicals.

"Total will continue to look for cheap oil, but we will no longer invest in projects that are too expensive", explains Patrick Pouyanné. / LP / Philippe Lavieille  

Grandpuits is part of a much larger project?

A project that will keep us busy for the next thirty years.

But that we are starting to implement now.

Globally, oil will decline.

It's simple, if we want to contain global warming to 2 ° C, we must at least halve consumption.

Total will therefore continue to look for cheap oil, but we will no longer invest in projects that are too expensive.

The money will be reserved in part for gas and renewables.

Today our activity is 55% oil, 40% gas, and less than 5% renewable electricity.

In 2050, it will be 20% oil;

40% gas, certainly a fossil fuel, but which emits half the CO2 than coal;

and 40% renewable.

Total thus aims to be among the world's Top 5 producers of renewable energy.

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What are your next projects ?

We are currently positioning ourselves on a floating wind power project in France, on the Mediterranean side.

We will also announce this Friday the development for an additional 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar projects in Spain.

In 2020 alone, we announced 12 GW of renewable electricity projects.

That is the equivalent of ten large nuclear reactors.

Capacities that we expect to double within the next five years.

In front of you, you have a formidable competitor, China ...

She is making her revolution, that's clear.

Even though we haven't said our last word.

The consortium set up with PSA to build batteries bears witness to this, and this is just one example.

Thanks to Europe, it must be said, and to the Franco-German axis.

But tomorrow, we will also have to favor European companies for public procurement, if we want to face China.

What will happen to your 3,700 gas stations?

I made a commitment at the end of 2018 not to close any in France.

It is a regional planning tool.

90% of French people will continue to be within ten minutes of a Total station, wherever they are.

But we have also initiated a reflection to make them places of life, by setting up partnerships with La Poste for example.

This allows us to keep a link with our customers.

Especially since today, we also provide them with gas and electricity, via Direct Energie.

Are you going to install charging stations there?

We have started.

Electric car owners will charge 40% of the time at home, 40% at the office, 15% on the street, and 5% at stations.

We have taken over a network of 20,000 terminals in Amsterdam.

And no later than this week, the one Vincent Bolloré was operating in London.

And so this is just the start.

We calculated that it would take a thousand fast charging stations, for a total cost of 500 million euros, so that 95% of French people are within 15 minutes of one of them.

Today, there are only about thirty.

I myself have a Renault Zoé, I know how important it is.

We have to roll up our sleeves.

Source: leparis

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