Total opens revamped French petchem plant

Petrochemicals firm Total has inaugurated its revamped Carling – Saint-Avold petrochemical complex in eastern France following three years of transformation works.

In September 2013, Total announced that it would adapt the Carling site, investing close to EUR200 million to upgrade existing facilities and build new, higher value-added units to improve the site’s competitiveness. The Carling – Saint-Avold complex has been turned into a leading polymer production site in Europe.

“Announced in 2013, the Carling upgrade project has been successfully completed” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman/CEO of Total. “The complex has transitioned from a site producing commodities facing intense competition to a high value site aligned with market demand.”

The adaptation of the Carling – Saint-Avold complex did not involve layoffs or compulsory staff transfers. Each employee was offered a personalised plan, such as transfers to other positions within the group, retirement or assistance to create their own businesses.

Investments include: increasing the PS production capacity to make it Total’s leading site in Europe; the PE unit was upgraded to deliver advanced plastics (e.g. health care market); and a unit was built to manufacture PP compounds to meet automotive market demand for innovative and lighter plastics to replace steel and thereby make vehicles more fuel-efficient. The site now houses Cray Valley Europe headquarters and R&D centre, and it also serves as a logistics hub; a new unit was built producing Ricon and Krasol resins that are said to offer exceptional adhesion, longevity and damping properties; and finally, upgrade works were performed on a unit producing odourless, transparent Cleartack resins.

To meet its commitments to customers, Total invested in logistics to ensure the delivery of ethylene and propylene after the steam cracker was shut down in October 2015.

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