TotalÉnergies has made an unprecedented call for tenders. The company is on a mission to procure a staggering 500,000 tons per year of green hydrogen, marking a significant step in its journey to eliminate carbon emissions from its oil refining activities across Europe.
The primary objective behind this ambitious endeavor is clear: TotalÉnergies aims to decarbonize its industry. Sébastien Bruna, the Hydrogen Director in the chemical refining branch, emphasized this goal, stating, “What we want to do is decarbonize our industry.”
The hydrogen at the center of this transformation is ‘green hydrogen,’ produced through the process of electrolysis, which involves splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable energy sources like wind or solar power. Unlike ‘grey hydrogen,’ derived from methane, which emits nearly 10 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of hydrogen produced, green hydrogen is a clean and sustainable alternative.
TotalÉnergies has set an ambitious target: to replace all the grey hydrogen it currently uses in the desulfurization of fuels with green hydrogen by the year 2030. This shift is poised to make a substantial impact, given that the company consumes a staggering 500,000 tonnes of grey hydrogen each year across its various facilities.
This colossal initiative is set to affect several key locations. TotalÉnergies operates six European refineries in Antwerp (Belgium), Leuna (Germany), Zeeland (Netherlands), Normandy, Donges, and Feyzin (France), along with two biorefineries in La Mède and Grandpuits (France). All of these facilities are slated for a significant transformation.
The implications of this transition are far-reaching. By replacing grey hydrogen with its green counterpart, TotalÉnergies anticipates a reduction of 5 million tonnes (Mt) in CO2 emissions from its European chemical refining sites. In 2015, these sites collectively emitted 20.9 Mt of CO2. Jean-Marc Durand, the Director of Refining and European Petrochemical Sites at TotalÉnergies, expressed the magnitude of this shift.
However, TotalÉnergies understands that such a monumental endeavor requires collaboration from various stakeholders. Sébastien Bruna explained the rationale behind the call for tenders, stating, “But we decided to change scale; there are a lot of players on the global market, so we are launching this call for tenders to test the market and see the answers.”