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07/12/2020 News

Dismantling PANGEA I: over 100 tons of hardware!

PANGEA III was started up at the CSTJF in 2019. The first version of Total’s supercomputer was safely decommissioned in Pau, and all the hardware will be recycled and reused.

  • PANGEA III, the high-performance computer that boots the Total group’s computing power fivefold, is installed at the CSTJF in Pau.
  • With the dismantling of PANGEA I, now obsolete, Total is showing its implication in the circular economy.
  • Local companies and the team in Pau contributed to making the operation a success in spite of the health crisis.

“It’s a great success story!” enthuses Marie-Christine Deslous, manager of the project to dismantle PANGEA I at Total, which began on April 22, 2020 and ended on September 25. “It’s the first time we have dismantled a supercomputer of this size, and the obsolete hardware can now be recycled and reused”.

100 tons of hardware to be processed

The teams at Total in Pau (CSTJF) collaborated with the IT Division of the Exploration & Production branch and HPE, the company that built Pangea I and which also reconditions company equipment.

And it was no mean feat! It took seven trucks to load the 129 racks and 54 pallets from the Alpha building on the Total campus in Pau.

16,000 drives and 3,850 servers, i.e. over 100 tons of hardware were safely evacuated off site and then transported for recycling and reuse on the HPE site dedicated to that purpose. Its technology renewal center in Scotland restores corporate equipment of any type and from any manufacturer, in compliance with the foundations of sustainable development (preserving the environment and considering the socio-economic factors).


Flawlessly managed co-activities

The proactive involvement of all the teams in spite of the difficult context, meant that the whole decommissioning process was completed without a single accident or case of Covid-19.

The project took 1,260 working hours, of which a certain quantity were dedicated to the risks involved in this type of operation, such as work at height and heavy maintenance. The qualified personnel from Autaa, a local company, with the competencies to support complex projects like this one with their specific lifting vehicles and machinery, were of particular help in making sure that this was a successful first for Total.

Protecting data was also a priority during the entire period with rock-solid responsiveness from personnel.

Safety, environment and data security - a zero-penalty scorecard for this huge operation carried through to completion despite the health crisis.


  • Dismantling PANGEA I: video

  • Click HERE to enter the world of PANGEA III in a short film

  • Visit the HPE technology renewal center