Total ditches coal, focuses on natural gas

French gas and oil giant Total informed that, with closing of the sale of mine operator Total Coal South Africa it no longer produces coal and turns its sights on natural gas.

Signed in summer 2014, the agreement to sell the affiliate to a local company has been approved by the South African government, with the divestment taking effect on August 20, the company said in a statement.

On June 1, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanné publicly pledged that Total would halt all coal operations. He said that: “Faced with the issue of climate change, Total is committed to promoting the use of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, especially compared to coal, which emits twice as much greenhouse gas when used to generate power.”

In addition to withdrawing from mining, Total have also decided to divest the coal marketing operations. By end-2016, the company will no longer be involved in the coal business, Pouyanné added.

Increasing the percentage of natural gas in the energy mix, is one of Total’s major focus areas as it exits coal production. Natural gas accounted for 50% of Total’s production in 2014.

The company intends to further develop solar energy, enhance energy efficiency of its facilities and facilitate more access to sustainable energy, it added.

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LNG World News Staff; Image: Total