In Sète, the industrial site of Saipol, a subsidiary of Avril, receives Bruno Le Maire on a trip to Hérault as part of the preparation of the “Green Industry” bill

Article written on 22 February 2023
Friday 17 February 2023 - Today, Jean-Philippe PUIG, CEO of Avril and Christophe Beaunoir, CEO of Saipol, welcomed Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, to the site of its subsidiary Saipol in Sète. Saipol’s commitment to decarbonisation and the development of renewable energies and plant proteins illustrates the transformation of the industry desired by the “Green Industry” bill.


Saipol, a subsidiary of Avril, is the French leader in the processing of rapeseed and sunflower seeds into products for human consumption, animal nutrition, renewable energy and plant chemistry.

A pioneer in the biofuel industry with the invention of biodiesel, Saipol has reoriented its strategy, in line with the conclusions of the IPCC, to make low-carbon energy a lever for remuneration of the agricultural transition. With its OleoZE solution, Saipol already is paying more than 4,500 French farmers to implement farming practices that store carbon in the soil (intercropping, use of organic fertilisers, soil regeneration agriculture, etc.) and limit direct emissions (mechanisation, nitrogen fertilisers, etc.).

Saipol is also taking action to reduce its energy consumption and to decarbonise its industrial facilities and logistics flows. Of the five industrial sites in France, four already use biomass to provide the steam needed for their operations. The Saipol plant at Le Mériot in Aube is the winner of France Relance’s Biomass Heat Industry Agriculture and Tertiary Sector (BCIAT 2020) call for projects and will be the fifth site to install a biomass boiler to replace gas.


The site has already had a biomass boiler since 2015 that covers 80% of thermal energy needs, and is committed to the circular economy with Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée and local economic partners, notably Port Sud de France:

  • with the project to connect to the UVE (the urban area’s waste incineration plant), 100% of the site’s steam needs will be met by renewable energy;
  • with the connection to the Sète wastewater treatment plant, almost 90% of the drinking water used will be replaced by reprocessed water.

The site is also the subject of a €60M investment programme over 3 years (see appendix) to modernise its facilities and provide the flexibility needed to process rapeseed and intercrop seed for the production of low carbon oils and energy (see press release).


A pioneer in the production of renewable energy and the supply of bio-based products, Avril has been working for 40 years to promote the development of food and energy sovereignty. As such, it actively contributes to decarbonisation with the development of innovative plant-based solutions for several segments of our industry.

The Group is also working to reduce its gas, electricity and water consumption at each of its 73 sites worldwide, including 56 in France. For example, Avril has been developing biomass boilers for more than 10 years and is considering new solutions such as photovoltaics. This ambition is fully in line with its climate commitment, which aims to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% by 2030.

“For the last 40 years, Avril has been helping to make French agriculture a solution to today’s challenges. By adding value to agricultural production, we create value for farmers and provide appropriate responses in line with our group’s strategy to agricultural, food and environmental transitions. We are proud to be part of this ambitious project for a green industry in France, particularly in its long-term commitments and its raison d’être, Serving the Earth.”
Jean-Philippe PUIG, Managing Director of Avril
christophe beaunoir
”Saipol develops solutions for green mobility which are levers for financing the agricultural transition. We are also making concrete investments to reduce the dependence of our business on fossil fuels. By doing so, we are anchoring Saipol in the regenerative economy. Together with our teams, we are honoured to see that our action is considered to be an example of the Green Industry bill.”
Christophe BEAUNOIR, CEO of Saipol
“In 2023, we are investing €71M in our industrial sites in France, including more than €10M to meet our requirements in terms of industrial safety and security. It is a guarantee of the sustainability and sovereignty of the industry in our territories.”
Ludovic BOULAIS, Industrial Director of Saipol
“With the commitment of local private and public stakeholders which share a common vision, what we are developing in Sète demonstrates the ability to develop an industrial activity that creates value and jobs and is firmly rooted in its territory.”
Yann MAYER, Director of the Saipol site in Sète


Fabien KAY – Saipol Communication Manager

Mobile : 06 08 35 58 89


Béatrice GERMAIN – Avril Director of External Communication

Mobile : 06 66 81 48 17


Requests for photos of the Saipol Sète site should be sent to Fabien Kay by e-mail or SMS