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TotalEnergies invests in new plastics recycling unit

TotalEnergies invests in new plastics recycling unit
The TotalEnergies Grandpuits facility in France (photo courtesy TotalEnergies).

France-headed global multi-energy major TotalEnergies SE has announced that it will go ahead and invest in a mechanical recycling unit for plastic waste at its Grandpuits site southeast of Paris.

This new investment follows those announced in June 2023 — the doubling of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production and construction of a biomethane production unit — in line with the Company’s ambition to develop low-carbon energy and the circular economy.

The new unit should enter service in 2026 and produce 30,000 tonnes a year of high-value-added compounds containing up to 50 percent recycled plastic material.

In addition to the mechanical recycling unit, a specific center will be established that provides technical assistance to customers and develops new products, in order to provide sufficient support for the commercialization of the new range of hybrid compounds.

One year after investing in a new production line that makes high-performance recycled polypropylene for the automotive sector in its plant at Carling, the Company is now expanding its recycled polymer offering with this new unit at Grandpuits.

It will target the high-performance packaging market, in particular for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

This investment is great news for the local area and represents another milestone for the zero-crude platform at Grandpuits. The investment in this plastic recycling unit is entirely consistent with the Company’s ambition to grow the circular economy and will contribute to the objective of reaching 1 million tonnes of circular polymers by 2030. By developing all these projects at the Grandpuits zero-crude platform, the Company can confirm it will maintain 250 jobs at the site, honoring the commitments that it made in September 2020, said Bernard Pinatel, President of Refining & Chemicals at TotalEnergies.

Low-carbon energy and circular economy

In September 2020, in line with its aim to get to net zero by 2050, TotalEnergies launched a project to convert this industrial site.

The “zero-crude” project, which will cost an estimated total of over EUR 500 million, is based on the development of several future-oriented activities in biomass, renewables and the circular economy:

  • SAF production:the biorefinery’s output capacity of 210,000 tonnes a year by 2025 and 285,000 tonnes a year by 2027 will allow the Company to keep pace with the gradual rise in EU blending mandates, set at 6 percent in 2030.
  • Biomethane production:with an annual capacity of 80 GWh the biomethane unit will receive feedstock in the form of organic waste from the biorefinery, which will prevent the emission of almost 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) per year.
  • Advanced and mechanical recycling:有两个回收单位,一个用于高级recycling with the capacity to treat 15,000 tonnes of waste a year, and the announced second mechanical recycling unit, Grandpuits is establishing itself as a major French recycling site.
  • Green electricity generation:Grandpuits is home to the largest solar farm in the Île-de-France region, equipped with a battery energy storage system. Since coming onstream in July 2023, it has been generating 31 GWh of green electricity a year. This power generation required the installation of 46,000 solar panels and adds to the 28 GWh per annum facility built at Gargenville, west of Paris, which was launched in 2022.

TotalEnergies polymer production

TotalEnergies develops, produces, and sells polymers—polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and their recycled equivalents, as well as biopolymers—that can be incorporated into plastic production processes.

These polymers are lighter than many alternative materials, and their optimized energy efficiency helps to reduce the carbon footprint of end applications.

Together with stakeholders in the value chain, including manufacturers, research centers, waste sorting and collection companies, and their customers, in order to accelerate the move to a circular economy.

The Company is developing different plastic recycling processes and using renewable feedstock to contribute to its ambition of reaching 30 percent circular polymer production by 2030.

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