The shutdown of the facilities at the TotalEnergies refinery in Normandy, the largest in France, “started Friday evening”, declared this Saturday the secretary general of the CGT of the Normandy platform, Alexis Antonioli. “The units have been on hold since last night,” he added. However, this shutdown will take several days and should not cause immediate fuel shortages at service stations.
“From Thursday afternoon the strikers” present in the refinery to ensure its safety “refused to proceed with the shipments” but “the management not wishing to stop the refinery, they decided to no longer provide relief”. “After 22 or even 33 hours of presence for certain employees, the management ended up giving in on Friday to obtain fresh teams” by giving the instructions to stop, still according to Alexis Antonioli.
A snowball effect?
“Shipments are blocked on the refining side, which induces a different operation on the very many production units”, indicated the group’s management. “Our priority is to maintain safety, which leads us to put certain units in preferential recirculation or to stop some if necessary to guarantee inventory management”, added the management, which affirms that “other units on the platform remain in normal operation and ensure their production”. This could not last, according to Eric Sellini, CGT union coordinator for the group, who specifies that “the operations (shutdown) are scheduled until Monday evening”, ensuring that “nothing more” comes out of the refinery. .
The shutdown of the Normandy refinery could be the first in a series, according to him: in addition to the PétroIneos refinery in Lavéra (Bouches-du-Rhône), whose CGT indicated on Friday that its shipments were stopped and predicted shutdown for Monday afternoon “at the latest”, the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Port-Jérôme-Gravenchon (Seine-Maritime) could be shut down on Monday or Tuesday, for lack of crude oil to be refined , due to a strike at the oil depot in Le Havre.