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Article written on 21 April 2021

Conversation with Kristell Guizouarn, Director of New Energy Strategy and European Affairs, Avril

Having a choice rather than being subjected to it. This is the approach adopted by Saipol to deploy its commercial offer based on the Oleo100 fuel and to propose new energies. Thanks to her in-depth knowledge of the transport stakeholders and the regulations, Kristell Guizouarn, Director of European Affairs for the Avril Group and New Energy Strategy for Saipol, is looking forward to “the next stage” in order to prepare the right strategy.

Saipol transports

How do we identify the energy sectors that will become new markets for Saipol in five or ten years? To answer this strategic question, Kristell Guizouarn, Director of European Affairs for the Avril Group and New Energy Strategy for Saipol, has a well-established method. This method proved successful with Oleo100, the fuel made from 100% French rapeseed, and is being applied in new sectors: “We co-construct, step by step, with the companies interested in our solutions, the economic studies and the action plans. We then present them to the authorities if necessary”. The cycles repeat themselves. Oleo100 now enjoys great success in the transport sector. But long before its launch in 2018, Saipol had to ensure that it could be an authorised fuel in France as B100. First of all, to legalise its use, but also to obtain appropriate taxation. “We still have to obtain the Crit’air 1 classification for B100 vehicles with exclusive irreversible use, which is totally legitimate given the positive impact of B100 on air quality in urban areas,” she stresses.

Oil for food or energy purposes, the same challenge!

In addition to its technical and environmental benefits, the argument that really works with the public authorities concerns the French origin of Oleo100. As the last link in an industrial ecosystem that starts with the seed, it captures value that is redistributed to the farmer. “Maintaining rapeseed as crop is essential in France, to support food independence but also for agronomic reasons” she adds. Responding to people who continue to believe that its use for energy purposes is at the expense of food for humans and animals: “During the year 2020, despite the drop in biodiesel and Oleo100 production due to the reduction in travel in the country, we continued to produce meal for the animals because we had to supply the food chains, and we had to find markets for the vegetable oil for export since we were not able to use it as energy. Faced with an economic recession, we should have been shut down factories temporarily. We did not. Food is the primary focus of our mission. ”

Travelling rapeseed

The next projects are ambitious: do we use raw materials from oilseeds to respond to the decarbonisation of the air transport sector? Do we use rapeseed to respond to the energy mix of naval transport? Market conditions are more favourable than at the beginning of the situation, framed by the European Green Pact and the decarbonisation strategies undertaken in European countries. “No one will use a 100% fossil fuel in the end,” she predicts. What is the crystal ball necessary that enables her to anticipate and evaluate opportunities precisely in relation to the regulations? One of them is a tool more rational than fortune telling: finance law. She waits for it every year-end: “The teams find in these texts opportunities that support our strategy and our actions”. As proof, they intervened as early as September 2020 with the Government to tighten the regulation on the incorporation of imported soybean oil in fuels in 2021 and not in 2022. “Why wait two years when we are talking about sovereignty, a protein plan and the fight against imported deforestation! ” she adds. A successful collective struggle.

kristell guizouarn

“Find points of convergence with transport players around the supply of new bio-based energies to prepare for the future”.

Kristell Guizouarn, Director of New Energy Strategy and EU Affairs, Avril