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Total Investing $4B in France for More Diesel, Biofuel and Synthetics Capacity

Oil and energy major Total will spend some €3.3 billion (US$4.0 billion) in France over the next four years to increase its diesel output, and to increase its presence in synthetic and biofuels, and in renewable energy.

An earmarked €2.8 billion (US$3.4 billion) investment in refining in France consists of €500 million (US$612 million) to increase diesel production at four refineries; €400 million (US$490 million) to improve energy efficiency and further reduce the environmental footprint of refineries; and an estimated €800 million (US$979 million) to build an upgrader at the end of the period to convert surplus heavy fuel oil into automotive fuel.

The combined capital expenditures (three times the amount spent in the first half of the decade) will enable production of an additional 4 million metric tons (about 29 million barrels or 1.2 billion gallons US) of diesel.

In France, Total will also be spending €500 million ($US612 million) between now and 2010 on:

  • Biofuels. Total plans to double its ethanol purchases and triple its vegetable oil methyl ester (biodiesel) purchases and is ready to form partnerships to build new biodiesel units.

  • Synthetics. Total will spend some €100 million (US$122 million) on programs to develop new gas-to-liquids and biomass-to-liquids processes to efficiently produce liquid hydrocarbons from gas or biomass. Total has already announced a pilot project with Neste Oy from Finland on a unit to produce high-grade biodiesel from a combination of vegetable oils and animal fat. (Earlier post.)

  • Greenhouse gas reduction. Total will invest €50 million (US$61 million) to build a pilot CO2 capture and sequestration unit at Lacq and to develop other technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to the use of fossil fuels.

  • Renewable energies. €250 million (US$306 million) willgo to wind power projects and on developments in photovoltaic power.

  • Hydrogen. Around €100 million (US$122 million) will be allocated to R&D partnerships covering new automotive energy sources, such as fuel cells and hydrogen, as well as new, more energy efficient industrial equipment and new technologies in the areas of renewable energies and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


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