LCC30 will help extend over the next thirty years gas extraction in Lacq, at a lower flow rate, in order to supply energy and sulphur raw material to the players of the Lacq industrial platform.
The new facilities will be operational from mid-2013, before the shutdown of the commercial operation of the gas field anticipated by Total for December of that year. New equipment will be designed to supply the local chemical industry, in particular Arkema, with competitive gas, electricity, sulphur and energy (mostly steam). As a result, over one thousand jobs will be safeguarded in total. Eventually, LCC30 is designed to attract other manufacturing companies, of all sizes, which will be able to benefit, through SOBEGI, of the utilities and the competitiveness they need for their activities.
The investment is provided by SOBEGI (110 million euros), Arkema (36 million euros), and Total EP France (8 million euros). Hence the Total group’s contribution to the financing of the project amounts to 66 million euros, directly and as a shareholder of SOBEGI. The project has received some 6 million euros of state funding granted by OSEO as part of the « strategic industrial sectors » call for projects within the Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir, as well as the backing of local authorities.
« Total is a responsible manufacturer, and has been preparing for over 20 years for the eventual shutdown of the commercial production of natural gas in Lacq through industrial regeneration initiatives. The LCC30 project is a key part of this policy as it consolidates the future activity of SOBEGI and Arkema as key players of the platform. This industrial strength is a major asset for the appeal of the Lacq region. The recent decision by the TORAY group to establish facilities on land provided by Total is an example of this. When the commercial gas operations come to a close in Lacq, Total will retain a major presence in the Béarn region through its Scientific and Technical Centre in Pau which employs some 2500 people dedicated to the worldwide exploration production activities » stated Michael Borrell, Director Continental Europe and Central Asia, Total Exploration - Production.
« It was a perfectly logical step for TOTAL to decide to task its subsidiary SOBEGI with implementing the LCC30 project. Since its creation by the Group in 1975, SOBEGI’s core activity has indeed entailed coordinating and managing common resources and services on behalf of manufacturers within the Lacq basin. SOBEGI has built up the experience, skills and know-how, and acquired the means needed to build and operate the new gas processing plant, the mainstay of the LCC30 project. This facility will help supply hydrogen sulphide (H2S), essential for the long-term future of ARKEMA on the site, as well as fuel gas for our own utilities, and is a highly structuring asset for the Lacq platform. Based on a forward-looking approach, LCC30 is rooted in a strongly developed local manufacturing culture and on the cohesion of all stakeholders for the benefit of the region » declared François VIRELY, SOBEGI President.
« This investment will enable Arkema to ensure the long-term future of production at our Lacq Thiochemicals site by guaranteeing the long-term supply of gas as well as competitive access to services and utilities. This project was therefore key to allow Arkema, the world leader in Thiochemicals, to support, from its French facilities in Lacq, the strong growth in the applications of our sulphur derivatives in the refining and petrochemicals markets, as well as the agricultural market for which we are developing new applications. Finally, the creation of this Cluster consolidates Arkema’s position in a region where the Group employs some 700 people" explained Marc Schuller, Executive Vice President Industrial Chemicals at Arkema.
About SOBEGI, Total and Arkema
Société Béarnaise de Gestion Industrielle - SOBEGI – manages the SEVESO platforms in Lacq and Mourenx (64), and as such is entirely dedicated to the performance of the manufacturers, in terms of infrastructures and logistics as well as the provision of a network of skills and expertise. SOBEGI supplies these manufacturers with the utilities they need to operate their manufacturing plants, including the steam produced by its boilers. SOBEGI’s prime objective is to address the concerns of its customers, and so it has made the supply of energy, the provision of services, as well as safety, quality and the environment its core competence. It employs 317 people. Its major shareholder is Total (60%), with the remaining interest held by COFELY GDF-SUEZ.
Total is one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world, with activities in more than 130 countries. The Group is also a first rank player in chemicals. Its 96,000 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. Total is working to help satisfy the global demand for energy, both today and tomorrow. In south-western France Total operates some 20 sites and facilities, with over 4000 employees. For over 30 years, Total has provided backing to over 1000 companies in the region, allowing the creation or the retention of over 32,000 jobs through measures put in place by Total Développement Régional (TDR). More on: www.total.com
A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, some 13,200 employees and 9 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of approximately €5.9 billion*, and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands. The world is our inspiration.
*Sales and headcount for continuing activities at end 2011, excluding vinyl products activities, which are part of a divestment plan.