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The Donges refinery, second in France, “completely shut down” for “corrosion and leaks”

The Donges site, France's second largest refinery, has been "completely shut down for more than a week" due to "corrosion and leaks", a representative of the CGT of this TotalEnergies refinery, located near Saint-Pierre, announced on Friday.

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The Donges refinery, second in France, “completely shut down” for “corrosion and leaks”

The Donges site, France's second largest refinery, has been "completely shut down for more than a week" due to "corrosion and leaks", a representative of the CGT of this TotalEnergies refinery, located near Saint-Pierre, announced on Friday. -Nazaire. “This is a technical stop” imposed since February 20 by the regional directorate of environment, planning and housing (Dreal), declared Fabien Privé Saint-Lanne, general secretary of the CGT at within the refinery.

“Currently, there are corrosion problems and leaks, a blockage on an oven (...) but also 32,000 meters of piping to be redone” on this SEVESO site at the high threshold, said Fabien Privé Saint-Lanne. The leaks do not represent an environmental risk for the environment of the site, he judged, estimating that the refinery will resume its activities “in a month, at the end of March”.

Half of the refinery's installations had already been shut down since mid-December, following a formal notice from the Loire-Atlantique prefecture which ordered TotalEnergies “to respect the provisions (...) for the pipes ". When contacted, a TotalEnergies spokesperson indicated that the outage was due to “maintenance and upkeep activities which are necessary”.

“All of these actions currently represent expenditure of around 50 million euros per year,” he added, saying he had “put in place very substantial means to ensure the security (of) the installations " of the site. For Fabien Privé Saint-Lanne, the shutdown of the refinery is on the contrary due to “a policy of upkeep and maintenance at lower costs”. “The employees are understaffed and work 12, sometimes 16 hours in a row (...) which is dangerous,” regretted the union representative. The French giant has not paid salaries since December to around twenty foreign employees, including nine Ukrainians, the CGT also denounced in a press release on Friday.

The Donges platform, which occupies an area of ​​nearly 350 hectares and where 650 employees work, is the second refinery in France, after that of Normandy, according to the TotalEnergies website. It has a processing capacity of 11 million tonnes of crude per year, for a storage capacity of 2.2 million m3 (crude oil and finished products), according to the same source.

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