Loire-Atlantique: immersion in the Donges refinery

Loire-Atlantique: immersion in the Donges refinery

The France Télévisions teams went to the Donges refinery, in Loire-Atlantique, to understand how this huge machine works and supplies France with oil and its derivatives.

Loire-Atlantique: immersion in the Donges refinery

The Donges refinery, in Loire-Atlantique, is like a steel monster that spits its fumes to produce black gold. Closed during the health crisis, the second largest refinery in France underwent an overhaul for several months. That day, a liner from Brazil arrives in the Loire estuary to supply the refinery with one million barrels of oil in its tanks, more than half of France’s consumption in a day.

A long polluting process

The oil is transported in huge pipes, then heated in tanks to 380 ° C to separate it into gas, gasoline, diesel and heating oil. Oil goes through chemical processes for a week. A thousand employees work on the site. The refinery houses part of France’s strategic reserves: three months of the country’s consumption are spread over the territory, and in particular in Donges. The refinery also pollutes, and consumes as much drinking water as a city of 100,000 inhabitants.