Pascal Bréant, Total Group representative in Kazakhstan and Managing Director of Total E&P Kazakhstan
Why have you decided to join the French Pavilion?
Total, the world’s fourth-largest oil and gas company and top ranking French company (in terms of market capitalization), has been present in Kazakhstan since 1993. It is clear to us that EXPO 2017, to take place in summer 2017 in Astana on the theme “Future Energy” will be an event of major international importance. For Total, a responsible and committed company, the issues surrounding future energy choices are close to our heart. It is our business to meet the energy needs of a growing world population and our customers’ new expectations. We do this by providing more accessible energy, in a safer, cleaner, more efficient and more innovative way. Energy and the environment are inextricably linked and we are very conscious of the role we have to play in order to reduce our environmental impact and encourage the responsible use of energy. The COP21 energy summit held in Paris last year perfectly illustrates that the battle against climate change is a global concern for governments, companies, NGOs and all citizens. At Total, we take action: we have applied internal carbon pricing since 2008 and we promote development of carbon pricing mechanisms in major economies. This year we have integrated the International Energy Agency’s 2°C Scenario into our strategy at Group level to improve the carbon intensity of our energy mix: producing more gas, halting all our coal operations, continuing our development in renewable energies (especially solar) and making advances in carbon capture, use and storage technologies. Total is a major energy player today and will remain so in the future.
What innovations would you like to present there?
Innovation is key at Total. Innovating is at the core of our strategy. Thanks to its integrated model, Total has demonstrated its capacity to adapt to new challenges by diversifying its offer. We innovate at every level within our activities – from production through to energy distribution and customer relations – and in a variety of forms. For EXPO 2017 we want to focus on our renewable energies activities. As a major energy player, our contribution to new energies is in fact a strategic choice as well as an industrial responsibility. Via our subsidiary SunPower, we are among the top 3 in the world in the solar power industry and we want to develop our activities across the entire value chain. Not only do we intend to manufacture more efficient panels but we also propose to produce energy by developing and operating solar power plants. To pursue developing solar industry of the future, we are also working on energy management and storage. Total, a producer of biofuels for over 20 years and now a leading European distributor, is also focusing on developing bioenergies (biofuels, biolubricants, biosourced plastics, etc.). It is all these innovations, the fruit of partnerships built in R&D with university centres of excellence and of equity investment in startups, that we want to show you at Astana Expo 2017.
Innovation is key at Total. Innovating is at the core of our strategy.
What does Kazakhstan offer?
Kazakhstan has been a strategic partner of Total for many years. With a presence there for more than 20 years, we have established relations of trust and cooperation in this country. Total E&P Kazakhstan holds a 16.81% interest in one of the largest hydrocarbon fields in the world: “Kashagan” located in the Caspian Sea and operated by NCOC (North Caspian Operating Company). This massive project is in itself a technological “first” due to the combination of complexities encountered (a land-locked sea that freezes in winter, shallow water, a high pressure reservoir, the presence of H2S, and an extremely sensitive environment). Numerous innovations have been designed and implemented during the development of the Kashagan project. Alongside our oil and gas projects, we are very much involved in societal projects in Kazakhstan. One example is the “KazWeld” initiative which resulted in the Republic of Kazakhstan being granted official membership of the International Institute of Welding. We also helped launch a full welding training programme (from professional development through to a master of welding engineering qualification). Total has also forged strong partnerships with Kazakhstan universities (Karaganda State University, Kazakh-British Technical University, Academy of Public Administration, Nazarbayev University) to promote high level university education and so contribute to the development of future talent in Kazakhstan. Total, in partnership with the national research laboratory NURIS (Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System), has launched a solar energy pilot project involving trials on SunPower Maxeon technology (able to concentrate the sun’s energy by a factor of 7, compared with conventional solar modules). All these initiatives, together with our participation in EXPO 2017, demonstrate the common goal of the Republic of Kazakhstan and of Total to move together towards a sustainable energy future for all.
Interview of July 8, 2016.