French nitrogenous fertilizer maker GPN, a subsidiary of oil giant Total, is tranfering its industrial ammonium nitrate business to the Spanish Maxam, which is the world second largest manufacturer of civil explosives. The TAN plant is located at Mazingarbe, northwest France. Maxam already operates in France, in Selles-Saint-Denis where it produces civil explosives and through a joint venture with SNPE (Société Nationale des Poudres et des Explosifs) in Bergerac producing nitrocellulose. Maxam operates in some forty countries and 75% of its turnover comes from the production of civil explosives. Maxam sales around the world were of approximately 900M€ in 2010. The use of explosives in mining and public works not only reduces the time and cost of operations, but also allows the correct amount of energy to be used, thus saving hydrocarbons and reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared with the use of mechanical means such as borers, grinders, tunnelling machines, etc.