Global energy company TotalEnergies has approved a plan to further expand processing of circular renewable feedstocks at its La Mède biorefinery near Marseille, France, Oil&Gas Journal wrote.

During the plant’s first major scheduled shutdown scheduled for next year, the operator would be conducting a US$76M (€70M) upgrade to enable increased processing of waste feedstocks, including used cooking oils (UCO) and animal fats, TotalEnergies was quoted as saying in late June.

Upon completion, the biorefinery would be able to produce renewable fuels from up to 100% waste materials in support of its aim to reduce the carbon footprint of global operations in line with its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the company said.

The proposed new project continued the company’s ongoing transformation of the La Mède site, Bernard Pinatel, managing director of TotalEnergies’ Refining-Chemicals division, was quoted as saying in the 3 July report.

Started in 2015, the US$370M (€340M) investment involved the conversion of the site’s former 153,000 bpd conventional refinery into France’s first biorefinery, which the operator had commissioned in 2019, Oil&Gas Journal wrote.

According to the TotalEnergies’ website, the La Mède biorefinery, in Bouches-du-Rhône, Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, produces 500,000-tonnes/year of renewable diesel from a range of feedstocks, including rapeseed and other vegetable oils, as well as waste feedstocks such as UCO and animal fats.

Since 1 January, TotalEnergies had stopped processing palm oil and palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD), and the company said the La Mède biorefinery’s updated 650,000 tonnes/year feedstock supply plan from the start of the year would include a maximum of 450,000 tonnes/year of vegetable oils of all kinds (excluding palm oil), with a minimum 25% of feedstock resources to come from waste and residues (excluding PFAD).