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Suez and Total partner to recycle cooking oil into biofuel

SUEZ and TOTAL are joining forces to collect and recycle used cooking oil (UCO) in France. As part of their 10-year partnership, SUEZ will supply 20 000 tonnes per annum of UCO to TOTAL that will process it into biodiesel at its La Mède biorefinery in France.

Total's La Mède site in southeastern France will include a biorefinery that will produce biodiesel from used oils as well as vegetable oils (photo courtesy Total).

Total’s La Mède site in southeastern France will include a biorefinery that will produce biodiesel from used oils as well as vegetable oils (photo courtesy Total).

SUEZ, a France-headed waste collection, recycling and recovery major and TOTAL, a compatriot global energy major are joining forces to collect and recycle used cooking oil (UCO) in France. As part of their 10-year partnership, SUEZ will supply 20 000 tonnes of used cooking oil (UCO) per annum to TOTAL that will process it into biodiesel at its La Mède biorefinery.

In response to growing demand for biofuel, TOTAL is transforming its La Mède site into France’s first biorefinery, one of the largest in Europe. The facility will produce biodiesel by refining UCO, residual oil and vegetable oil. The high-quality biodiesel (HVO) will be easily blended into regular diesel in any proportion, with no adverse impact on fuel quality or engines.

Out of an estimated total of over  100 000 tonnes of UCO generated in France annually, around 45 000 tonnes is currently collected. The partnership aims to increase the collected amount by over 20 percent and improve its conversion to biodiesel through a short energy production loop beneficial for the environment.

SUEZ will deploy a nationwide oil collection and recycling system suitable for all types of producers, from consumers to the leading agri-food businesses. The oil will be transported to La Mède for preliminary treatment in a filtration unit built by SUEZ.

– I’m delighted by this innovative partnership with SUEZ. This industrial cooperation will allow us to establish a sustainable country-wide industry to recycle used cooking oil to produce biofuels. The partnership helps Total meet its ambition of being the responsible energy major. Renewable energies, especially biomass, are a critical adjunct to oil and gas in order to meet demand for transportation fuel while managing carbon emissions.”said Michel Charton, Senior Vice President Refining & Base Chemicals Europe of Total during the signing.

– I am very proud of this partnership with TOTAL. By helping to transform the La Mède industrial site, SUEZ is supporting TOTAL’s ambitious environmental goals — which we share. As a partner of leading manufacturers in Europe and worldwide, we develop tailored solutions to make industrial ecology a reality by optimising the use of resources. Our collaboration with TOTAL to process used cooking oil into biofuel is a successful illustration of the circular economy, said Jean-Marc Boursier, Senior Executive VP of SUEZ, in charge of Recycling & Recovery Europe.

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