Over the past two decades, the main developments that have impacted SPMR’s business sector have focused on increasing the requirements for the safety of transport pipelines, the quality of road fuels under the European Union Auto Oil programme, and the new conditions of network operation offered by digitalization. SPMR has successfully overcome these challenges to offer its customers a massive mode of transport widely appreciated for its high level of reliability. Moreover, the recent inflow of private investment funds into the capital of the company testifies to its interest in such infrastructures driven by the robustness of its activity.
Of all the modes of mass transportation of liquid products, including train, water and road, the pipeline is certainly the most discreet – the network is buried at least 1 m deep – while also being the most economical, especially over long distances. Driven by electricity, it is the only mode of transport that does not require the return of an empty vector. This makes a link with the environmental virtues of the network possible.
In addition to its discretion, which avoids any alteration of the landscape, it is also a very low CO2 emitter, thereby reducing its toll on the environment. SPMR transports more than nine million tons of products annually over an average distance of more than 200 km for every ton transported, protecting the regions along the route from CO2, which would otherwise be emitted if the liquids were transported by truck.
As for the future, the resilience and continuity of service will remain at the heart of SPMR’s concerns, given the network’s public interest service. It is in this spirit that SPMR dedicates its efforts to supporting the integrity of its facilities, a guarantee of preserving the confidence of the population and the public authorities of the territories crossed by SPMR; to supporting digitalization, a source of optimization in terms of efficiency, safety and economy; and to supporting the energy transition.
Supporting the integrity of its networks is reflected in the heavy monitoring and investigation programmes leading to preventive action if necessary. Currently, SPMR’s efforts in this area account for about 60% of its investment projects. Digitalization contributes to this. It also greatly stimulates the areas of network maintenance and operation where most operations are remotely operated and controlled.
The current unflattering image of the petroleum products transported by SPMR does not hinder the company’s desire to be an actor in the energy transition. Firstly, it aims to reduce its energy needs by optimizing operating conditions and by using renewable energies.
Secondly, the company is open to the transportation of green products. However, SPMR is convinced that liquid fuels of fossil origin or emerging sectors will still dominate the mobility sector. In aviation, for instance, it is still a must. For the road environment, it will take time to see long-distance mobility subscribers convert to electromobility, which requires a socially acceptable distribution network that has yet to be fully developed.
Thus, SPMR will remain one of the major contributors to access to mobility for the things that some member states of the European Union are preparing to enact into law.