Can France survive without Russian gas? “In the end yes” according to Engie’s boss

Short, medium or long? After considering at the end of March that France would need “medium or long term” of Russian gas, the president of Engie estimated that our country “probably able to reduce very significantly” his addiction from here to three or four years.

“In the long term yes. The question is when”, said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu at the France Inter microphone on May 7. Its construction relies on a whole infrastructure network (gas pipelines, liquefaction plants, etc.), which is difficult to construct.

“If we had to go through a brutal shutdown, that’s a scenario that’s much more difficult and will require adjustments that are likely to be brutal as well,” added the power company boss.

Russian gas represents 20% of Engie’s stocks

Especially since Russian gas still represents 20% of Engie’s stocks. He also announced on May 3 the purchase of 1.75 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, as a result of a hydraulic fracturing process banned in France, from the US NextDecade, coming from the future Texas Rio Grande terminal from 2026 and for fifteen years.

“Current tensions in the energy markets have reinforced the relevance of our strategy to diversify supply sources to meet our priority of ensuring the security of supply for our customers,” said a spokesperson for the energy company. the gallery on May 4.

A turning point had already started at the end of March, as Engie had then extended a contract with another American group, Cheniere Energy, to purchase more LNG from it than planned, and this for 20 years. The tricolor company therefore has no intention of abandoning the precious hydrocarbon any time soon, as these new contracts run through 2040 and beyond.

Liquefied natural gas is the least polluting

And yet LNG, which has to be liquefied and then gassed again, and which goes by sea, turns out to be polluting to say the least. In detail, the footprint averages 58 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour (KWh), compared to 23 gCO2/KWh for ‘conventional’ gas transported via pipelines. Not to mention that the one produced on American soil goes through “hydraulic fracturing”, that is, deep drilling, mobilizing large amounts of water and chemicals to break the rocks.

A process that has been banned in France since 2011 due to a risk of contamination of groundwater but also of methane leakage, this greenhouse gas with a potential 80 times more warming than CO2 on a twenty-year scale. Moreover, it was precisely this point that had concentrated the criticism in 2020 and led to the cancellation of the contract with NextDecade. But the situation has changed, Engie defends today.

NextDecade has made significant progress in committing to a 90% reduction in emissions at the Rio Grande terminal, notably through a carbon capture and storage project a spokesperson assures the gallery† The gas in question will of responsible origin (RSG), sourced from the main gas producers in the Permian basins [le plus grand champ pétrolier des Etats-Unis, ndlr] and Eagle Ford “, right away “ control by an independent third party the group continues.

To get rid of Russian gas, Engie turns and turns to US shale gas, despite climate emergency

A “sustainable energy transition” label with Bureau Veritas

At the same time, on May 5, the energy company launched a “TED” label (for “sustainable energy transition”) that should “give citizens and areas guarantees of rigor and transparency'” on the development of wind farms so that they can”appropriate”

Designed in collaboration with Bureau Veritas, the global leader in audit and certification services, it will cover Engie’s solar and wind operations in France from June, before expanding to methanation in 2022, the group assures. Follow-up audits by Bureau Veritas are then scheduled for 2023 and 2024.

“It’s about building projects with the local authorities, instilling trust and systematizing our long-term commitments. Based on this, we will build custom projects. By adjusting the location and exact height of wind turbines in a particular area, for example,” said Director General Catherine MacGregor.

Specifically, this label includes nine commitments “that go beyond legal requirements and that Engie commits to deploy systematically”the company says. For example, in order to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders, it will be a matter of creating a “tailor-made and scalable interaction system”or even “provide the municipality with an assessment of the positive effects”

TED: Engie’s miracle solution to overcome wind resistance