TotalEnergies has stepped up its decarbonisation drive with a tender to supply 500,000 tonnes per annum of green hydrogen by 2030 to replace the grey hydrogen used at its six oil refineries and two biofuel refineries in Europe.

Roughly speaking, that amount of green hydrogen would require 5 gigawatts of electrolysers and 10 GW of dedicated renewable energy, with investment of around €14 billion ($15 billion).

The move is part of TotalEnergies’ plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions from its oil and gas operations by 40% by 2030 compared with 2015 levels.

Grey hydrogen produced from unabated natural gas is used in refineries to remove sulphur from crude oil, and to produce diesel and jet fuel through a process known as hydrocracking.

TotalEnergies’ conventional refineries are in Normandy, northern France; Donges, western France; Feyzin, eastern France; Antwerp in Belgium; Zeeland in the Netherlands; and Leuna in eastern Germany.

Its only existing biorefinery is in La Mede, on the south coast of France, near Marseilles, where the company produces 500,000 tpa of biodiesel.

‘Massive call’

However, the hydrogen call for tenders includes supply to its planned biofuel facility in Grandpuits, near Paris, which is due to begin operations in 2025, producing sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel and renewable naphtha.

“This massive call for tenders is fully aligned with TotalEnergies’ ambition to decarbonise all of the hydrogen used in its European refineries by 2030,” said chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.

“Alongside other green and low-carbon hydrogen production projects that the company is already undertaking at La Mede, Grandpuits, Leuna and Normandy, we are now approaching third-party providers to supply us with green hydrogen to accelerate the decarbonisation of our operations.

“As a consequence, by offering to various worldwide suppliers the opportunity to secure medium and long-term contracts with TotalEnergies, we trust we will benefit from the most competitive solutions they have developed.”

TotalEnergies also announced an agreement with Air Liquide for the long-term supply of 10,000 tonnes of green hydrogen and 5000 tonnes of “low-carbon hydrogen” to its Normandy refinery from the second half of 2026.

The hydrogen will be produced by Air Liquide’s 200 megawatt Normand’Hy electrolyser, with TotalEnergies supplying it with 100 MW of renewable and low-carbon power.

* A version of this article first appeared in Upstream’s sister title, Hydrogen Insight.

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