Biofuels to Lubricate the Marine Industry & Energy Efficiency Advances

Energy efficiency is a core priority at the French energy company Total, because it offers a response to today’s environmental challenges and conserves valuable fossil fuel resources. This is the message on the opening of a new plant (jointly with Veolia) in France that expands engine oil treatment capacity to regenerate used oil as high end engine oils. Total is also a leader in the production of lubricants for the marine industry using biofuels as was demonstrated at the recent SEA Asia conference and exhibition. Read More.

Total Lubmarine:

Ken Hickson attended a presentation on Future Fuels by Total Lubmarine, on the sidelines of the recent SEA Asia conference and exhibition  in Singapore.

Future fuels is a topic that continues to drive significant interest across the shipping industry, at a time when unprecedented challenges including sustained high bunker fuel prices, emissions regulation and capital and credit starvation are all impacting the market.

In such an environment, it is critical to look ahead; supporting the industry’s recovery by scaling the boundaries of innovation and sustainability.

Total Lubmarine hosted a presentation on: Shipping Industry Challenges , with Serge Dal-Farra, marketing manager and Future Fuels and Lubrication Solutions  with Jean-Philippe Roman, technical director.

This followed by a discussion exploring the prospects, operational challenges and opportunities that vessels operating on alternative fuels will encounter.

The challenges the industry faces are apparent and meeting or exceeding emission regulations is the answer from Total.

At the presentation, the Total representatives pointed out that through design and technology, greater efficiencies were being introduced in the maritime industry with cleaner burning fuels and management of waste and discharge.

Total also operates according to the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) as a measure to support the objective to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping.  Being a measurable method for determining the energy efficiency of a ship, the EEDI quantifies the amount of carbon dioxide a ship emits in relation to its value for society.

The introduction of biofuels for marine engine lubrication was a major advance the company. Not only are the lubricants clean to start with, they are also biodegradable and therefore cleaner to dispose of.

Total, being  highly sensitive to environment protection and sustainable development is producing biofuels and bio-lubricants for many purposes, not just the marine sector

Total has therefore developed a range of bio-lubricants designed in priority for activities where there is a direct risk for the environment if there is a leak or accidental loss of the product.

The term bio-lubricant applies to all lubricants which are both rapidly biodegradable and nontoxic for humans and aquatic environments.

A bio-lubricant can be:

- vegetable oil-based (e.g.: rape-seed oils),

- based on synthetic esters manufactured from modified renewal oils or from mineral oil-based products.

Advantages of bio-lubricants: Biodegradability, low toxicity, respect for the environment, low oil evaporation losses, good lubricating properties, high viscosity index, high ignition temperature, increased equipment service life and possible longer intervals between changes.

Source: and


Gonfreville l’Orcher, France — April 12, 2013

€55 million invested, of which 35% for local contractors;

45 direct jobs created, 120 during construction;

Processing capacity of 120,000 metric tons of oil a year, or nearly 50% of the volume of used oil generated in France each year;

A recycling yield of around 75%, among the best in the world.

Veolia Environment and Total today inaugurated the Osilub plant at the Gonfreville l’Orcher site in Normandy, France. Completed after 20 months of construction work, the new plant expands engine oil treatment capacity in France and, more broadly, northwestern Europe, to regenerate used oil as high end engine oils.

“Developing innovative industrial solutions to convert waste into new resources is a cornerstone of the new Veolia that we are building. Our success in this area will be shared with our customers and partners, who are working with us to safeguard the environment. The virtuous cycle model developed in synergy with Total to regenerate used engine oil at the Osilub plant offers a compelling example of a forward-looking industry initiative that supports both economic growth and sustainable development,” commented Antoine Frérot, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environnement. “The intentional choice of Le Havre reflects our deep industrial roots in this region, where we have invested nearly €90 million over the past five years.”

“Total is a major player active across the whole lubricant life cycle. Osilub’s innovative process will optimally regenerate used oil to offer customers superior quality products as part of a virtuous ‘circular economy.’ Energy efficiency is a core priority at Total, because it offers a response to today’s environmental challenges and allows us to conserve valuable fossil fuel resources,” said Philippe Boisseau, President of Marketing & Services and New Energies at Total. “Osilub is also a new chapter for Total in Normandy. We have a number of facilities in the region and are investing substantially there, especially in the integrated Normandy platform, comprising a refinery and a benchmark petrochemical plant.”

Several years of research underpin the wiped-film vacuum distillation process deployed by Osilub, which preserves the oil molecules and ensures high yields when recycling fine chemical products. The base stock produced by Osilub will be treated in dedicated facilities, including the Normandy refinery, and reused in high-end engine oils that meet the latest standards.

This industrial project supports sustainable development, in line with the European Union’s emphasis on recycling. It also consolidates the presence in the Normandy region of Total and Veolia Environnement, two key business and industry players locally.

About Veolia Environnement

Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 220,000 employees*, the company provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in three complementary segments: water management, waste management and energy management. Veolia Environnement recorded revenue of €29.4 billion in 2012*.

* Excluding Veolia Transdev employees and revenues currently under divestment.

About Total

Total is a leading international oil and gas company with operations in more than 130 countries. It is also a world-class chemical producer. Its 97,000 employees put their expertise to work in every part of the industry — exploration and production of oil and natural gas, refining and marketing, new energies, trading and chemicals — to keep the world supplied with energy, both today and tomorrow.

Total has a number of industrial sites in the Normandy region, including the integrated Normandy platform, which since January 2013 has comprised the Normandy refinery and the Gonfreville petrochemical plant. Total is investing €1 billion to upgrade the platform and adapt the facilities to changing demand.

Total also has a research and technology center in Gonfreville, a special fluids plant in Oudalle, two lubricant manufacturing plants, in Rouen and Nourrey-en-Bessin, a lubricants logistics platform in Rouen, and a container production plant in Gonfreville.


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