HAROPA PORT and SOGEPP ramping up biofuel distribution along the Seine Axis

Petroleum products management company SOGEPP (Société de Gestion de Produits Pétroliers) has collaborated with HAROPA PORT, France’s leading port, to boost river traffic to and from its facilities in Gennevilliers.

Gennevilliers. Courtesy of HAROPA PORT

SOGEPP operates a storage depot for liquid energy products on six hectares in Gennevilliers’ port area. The company, which plays an important link in the Greater Paris fuel distribution chain, distributes mainly to service stations in Greater Paris and neighbouring regions.

SOGEPP’s site at Gennevilliers is the first Paris area depot to invest in river logistics for the development of biobased, sustainable liquid energy products and is said to be in line with the energy transition that has begun along the Seine Axis as a whole.

SOGEPP approached HAROPA PORT to boost river traffic to and from its facilities in Gennevilliers, with the goal to develop this traffic between Normandy’s seaports and the Paris area.

As explained, HAROPA’s Paris office proposed to the firm that it would build a transhipment facility as a practical solution for the desired traffic.

HARPOA PORT delivered this facility in June 2022. By the end of 2022, SOGEPP obtained its regulatory permits and set up transhipment infrastructure on the jetty for discharging and loading liquid energy products. The operating permit for the jetty and the commissioning of the tanks to hold massive quantities of ethanol were obtained in November 2022 after the completion of the work for the petroleum product installations.

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According to SOGEPP, the project will reduce the carbon footprint of Gennevilliers supply flows. and support the company in the further development of biobased energy products such as HVO hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as well as B100, a biofuel 100% composed of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME).

This river logistics project has also received funding from France’s Waterways Authority (VNF) for the modernisation of the barge discharging installations. Management of the construction of the required river infrastructure was entrusted to HAROPA PORT which provided €1.1 million in funding to build the jetty and €2.65 million for modification of the riverbanks in its vicinity. The cost of the jetty superstructure required for operations is borne by SOGEPP, assisted by teams from Raffinerie du Midi where the engineering and administrative formalities are concerned.

At the end of 2022, the docking of the Thierry M, a CFT/SOGESTRAN self-propelled barge, enabled the validation of jetty placement and connections. Following this, the SOGEPP depot received its first barge carrying ethanol on 16 January. Since that date, barges have been calling the facility on a regular basis.