France limits use of palm oil in Total’s new biorefinery

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In France, the Environment Ministry is allowing a limited use of palm oil at Total’s new La Mede biofuel refinery, making many French farmers upset because most of the palm oil would be imported. Palm oil was capped by France after concerns about deforestation was voiced by the Environment Ministry. They also asked that Total use oils meeting sustainability criteria fixed by the European Commission to protect biodiversity and the environment.

The ministry will require Total’s La Mede refinery to use at least 25% recycled oil as feedstock and that the rest can come from crude vegetable oils like palm oil.

Total committed in a statement to use less than 300,000 tons of crude palm oil per year at La Mede out of a total processing capacity of 650,000 tons, and to use oils from other plants such as rapeseed, sunflower seed and maize (corn). Recycled animal fat, cooking oil and industrial oil would account for 30 to 40 percent of La Mede’s supplies, with the share due to rise over the years depending on availability, Total told Reuters.