Total in Germany


Arrival of the Group in Germany


Petrofina builds a refinery in Duisbourg


Petrofina opens gas stations in West Germany


Elf Bitumen Deutschland is created


The distribution network of Elf opens in Eastern Germany


Inauguration of the Hydrogen Competence Center in Berlin


A new HDS unit is built in Leuna refinery

Total has been present in Germany since 1955. The Group is currently active in the fields of refining and petrochemical, the marketing of petroleum products and associated services, the natural gas trade and renewable energy.


1955 - 1977

  • 1957, the Petrofina subsidiary decided to build a new refinery in Duisburg. At the end of the year, the Purfina network in Germany has 315 gas stations.


Duisbourg Refinery
Duisbourg Refinery - DR Total
  • 1958, Petrofina opens a chain of gas stations in West Germany, Deutsche Purfina. The CFP created the Defrol with Mannesmann (50%) and its subsidiary DETO.
First gas station in Neuötting
First gas station in Neuötting - DR Total
  • 1960, the UGP (Elf) plans to build a refinery in Spire.
  • 1963, the oil company of industrial realization (SPRI) is created between La Mure (50%), Sogerap (25%), etc. This company forms with the UGP (70%) the Union Treibstoff to operate the Spire refinery.
Spire refinery
Spire Refinery. ©Foto Hauck Luftbild - Total


  • 1964, the UGP, which processes 7% of the 50 MT refined in France, distributes in Germany via the brand ELF (Energy, Leistung, Fortschritt, namely Energy, Power, Progress). Petrofina is developing in the LPG market.
ELF Gas station
ELF Gas station, Fribourg, Haslacher Street. DR Total
  • 1965, the Spire refinery was commissioned (2.5 MT/year).
  • 1967, the Klarenthal refinery in the Saar was commissioned (CFP, UGP).
Klarenthal Refinery
Klarenthal Refinery. ©TRDI - Total
  • 1977, the Mülheim bitumen refinery closes in Germany.

1978 - 1999

  • 1984, Total closes the refineries of Klarenthal (Saarland) and Duisburg. Elf shuts down the operation of the Spire refinery (FRG).
  • 1985, Petrofina acquires 20% more in the Duisburg refinery.
  • 1988, Petrofina discontinues its refining activity at the Duisburg refinery in the Federal Republic of Germany, which isconverted into a deposit.
  • 1989, Elf starts drilling G1/1 and creates Elf Bitumen Deutschland GmbH, subsidiaries for bitumen in West Germany.
  • 1990, Elf opens its first Elf gas station in East Germany.
Inauguration of the Elf-Minol gas station in Leipzig
Inauguration of the Elf-Minol gas station in Leipzig. ©Houlbreque Gérard - Total


  • 1991, Total takes an 8.75% stake in the Schwedt refinery in East Germany and enters the LPG market.
Minol Gas station
Minol Gas station. DR Total


  • 1992, as part of the privatization of the East German public sector, Elf joins Treuhandanstalt to acquire the Leuna and Zeitz refineries and the Minol network.
  • 1993, Total acquires a lubricant manufacturing unit in Mulheim. Elf builds a vinyl compounds unit for the cable industry in Eilenburg. Elf acquires a unit of resin-formol in Leuna. and takes over urea-formol glue activities from Leuna.
  • In May 1995, Philippe Jaffré lays the foundation stone for the future Leuna refinery.
Foundation stone ceremony of Leuna refinery
Foundation stone ceremony of Leuna refinery - DR Total
  • 1996, Total exchanges with Shell its 44 stations in the eastern Länder compared to 38 in western Germany.
  • 1997, Elf completes the construction of the Leuna refinery and commissiones distillation facilities, as well as the hydrogen peroxide unit.

2000 - 2019

  • 2002, a partnership with the Berlin bus operator BVG, Germany’s leader of public transport, leads to the opening of a Hydrogen competence centre in Berlin and the first Total Coloured Hydrogen station. TotalFinaElf consolidates its growth through the acquisition of Total Saarberg (general trade) and in the area of LPG through the creation of a Tyczka-Totalgaz joint venture in the west of the country.
BVG bus (Public transports of Berlin Company) running with hydrogen
BVG bus (Public transports of Berlin Company) running with hydrogen. ©Weisflog Rainer - Total
  • 2003, Total announces the signature of an agreement with Shell providing for the acquisition in Germany of 133 Shell-DEA service stations in return for the sale of 7 motorway service stations in France, 33 gas stations in the Czech Republic and 70 gas stations in Hungary. This agreement illustrates the Group’s desire to consolidate its positions in Germany. Bostik Findley acquires MEM, a company specialized in consumer sealants in Germany.
  • 2008, Total starts the construction of a new HDS unit in the Leuna refinery. This unit is intended to supply the German market with very low sulphur domestic oil.
New unit of the Leuna refinery
New unit of the Leuna refinery - DR Total


  • 2009, as part of the Clean Energy Partnership project, Total builds a new experimental hydrogen station in Germany. Three other Group stations also distribute hydrogen in Germany and Belgium. The Group also participates in a demonstration project for the distribution of electricity at four Total service stations in Berlin, in partnership with the electrician Vattenfall.
  • 2010, a new production unit for the semiconductor market is inaugurated.
  • 2011, Total's marketing subsidiary created in 2010, Total Energy Gas GmbH, is inaugurated.
  • 2012, this subsidiary markets 0.15 Gm3 of gas to the industrial and commercial sector.
  • 2015, Total divests its stake in Schwedt’s Rosneft refinery in December.
  • 2017, a new benzene extraction unit starts up at the Leuna refinery.
Sight of the Fluid Cracker of the Leuna refinery
Sight of the Fluid Cracker of the Leuna refinery. ©Labelle Michel - Total