TotalEnergies SE has entered an agreement with SARIA AS GmbH & Co. KG to partner on production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as part of the operator’s Project Galaxie repurposing of its 101,000-b/d Grandpuits refinery at Seine-et-Marne near Melun in northern France, which intends to convert the site into a zero-crude industrial platform by 2025 (OGJ Online, Sept. 28, 2020).
TotalEnergies will take 50% ownership in SARIA’s conversion of animal fat esters into eligible feedstock to support production of SAF at the Grandpuits zero-crude platform, boosting the site’s proposed SAF capacity to 210,000 tonnes/year (tpy), or 25% higher, than initially planned for the conversion project, TotalEnergies said on Sept. 26.
SARIA will take an equivalent stake in the Grandpuits biorefinery business, for which TotalEnergies will remain as operator, according to the companies.
In addition to other renewable-based feedstock, SARIA will directly supply used cooking oils as SAF feedstock for the project, TotalEnergies said.
Pending regulatory approvals, the planned strategic partnership with SARIA reinforces conversion of the Grandpuits site into a zero-crude platform specifically oriented towards SAF, which is the most efficient solution to immediately reduce CO2 emissions from air transportation, according to Bernard Pinatel, TotalEnergies’ president of refining and chemicals business.
Already under way, TotalEnergies’ more than €500-million Project Galaxie at Grandpuits includes construction of a new biorefinery that will use Honeywell UOP LLC’s proprietary UOP Ecofining technology to process what initially was planned to be 400,000 tpy of mostly animal fats from Europe and used cooking oil—supplemented with other vegetable oils like rapeseed but excluding palm oil—primarily from local suppliers to produce 170,000 tpy of SAF; 120,000 tpy of renewable diesel; and 50,000 tpy of renewable naphtha for production of bioplastics (OGJ Online, Nov. 13, 2020).
Last year, TotalEnergies said production of biofuels—which reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% compared to their fossil equivalents—plays an important role in its broader net-zero strategy to meet carbon neutrality, as well as in France’s roadmap for incorporating 2% of SAF by 2025, 5% by 2030, and 50% by 2050 as part of the broader global energy transition (OGJ Online, Dec. 6, 2021).
TotalEnergies—which discontinued crude oil refining at Grandpuits in first-quarter 2021 and will cease storage of petroleum products at the site by late 2023—most recently said it expects to commission new units at Grandpuits in 2022-24 to reach full operation of the zero-crude platform by 2025.
Already supplying SAF to French aircraft operators since 2021, TotalEnergies also recently began producing SAF at its 253,000-b/d integrated Normandy refining and petrochemicals platform in Gonfreville l’Orcher, France (OGJ Online, Apr. 28, 2022).