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Total starts up the La Mède biorefinery; 500K tonnes of HVO for renewable diesel and jet fuel

Total has started up production at the La Mède biorefinery in southeastern France, with the first batches of biofuel coming off the line. It is the final step in converting a former oil refinery into a new energies complex. Launched in 2015, the project represents a capital expenditure of €275 million.

The biorefinery can produce 500,000 tonnes of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). La Mède will produce both renewable diesel and biojet fuel. It was specifically designed to process all types of oil. Its biofuels will be made:

  • 60 to 70% from 100% sustainable vegetable oils (rapeseed, palm, sunflower, etc.).

  • 30 to 40% from treated waste (animal fats, cooking oil, residues, etc.) to promote a circular economy.

As part of an agreement with the French Government in May 2018, Total has pledged to process no more than 300,000 tonnes of palm oil per year—less than 50% of the total volume of raw materials needed—and at least 50,000 tonnes of French-grown rapeseed, creating another market for domestic agriculture.

All the oils processed will be certified sustainable to European Union standards. In addition, as part of its palm oil procurement process, Total is taking an extra step by introducing strengthened control of sustainability and respect for Human Rights.



Shaking my head.  Using virgin oils of any kind is an enormous waste of land, palm oil doubly so.  If there's an appropriate way to produce biofuel, it is with permaculture of some kind like coppiced trees which does not leave the soil bare.  Oilseeds from annual plants is the exact opposite.

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