Total launches its production of sustainable aviation biofuels in France

The Total biorefinery in La Mède, October 29, 2019. – AFP

It is a process that will help reduce carbon emissions from the aviation sector. Total announced on Thursday that it had started production in France of sustainable aviation biofuels (SAF), using used cooking oils. The oil and gas giant will use the La Mède biorefinery in Bouches-du-Rhône and the Oudalle site in Seine-Maritime for this.

These air biofuels “will be intended for French airports from April,” adds Total, without specifying which ones. The group must also produce 170,000 tonnes of SAF from 2024 on its Grandpuits site, in the Paris region, where it is investing 500 million euros, including 200 million for aviation biofuels alone. “All of these sustainable aviation biofuels will be produced from waste and residues, resulting from the circular economy (animal fats, used cooking oils, etc.). Total will not use vegetable oils, ”the company also promises.

A prohibitive cost

Air transport has set itself the target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to their 2005 level. Half of the expected gains depend on the use of sustainable aviation fuels. SAFs can currently be mixed 50% with aviation kerosene and the aviation industry is aiming for 100% by the end of the decade.

Their cost prohibitive for the moment prevents their takeoff. In 2019, they represented less than 0.1% of the 360 ​​billion liters of fuel used by aviation. The French government’s roadmap plans to rise to 1% in 2022, 2% in 2025 and 5% in 2030.

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