Shell opens its largest grease plant worldwide in China
Jan 17, 2013
Today, Shell celebrated the opening of its 18th grease plant
Shell’s newest grease plant, located in Zhuhai, China, will make a range of Lithium, Lithium Calcium and Lithium Complex greases used mainly in passenger cars and industrial bearing lubrication. The plant, Shell’s largest, has a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes of greases a year, with the potential to be expanded to 40,000 tonnes a year. It is primarily designed to meet China’s growing demand for greases.
The new grease plant’s opening ceremony was attended by Zhuhai Local Government Officials; senior Shell representatives; business partners and customers. Mark Gainsborough, Shell Executive Vice President for Shell Global Commercial, said: “I am pleased that we are starting off 2013 with this opening which builds on Shell’s strong heritage in the greases business. We have a track record as a pioneer in grease technology innovation, especially for extremely durable greases used in as high-speed trains, airplanes and racing cars.”
The function of grease, like all lubricants, is to protect equipment. What differentiates greases from lubricant oils is that greases stay in place – particularly important in bearings in joints. Grease can stay in place because it contains a thickener. 70 years ago, Shell pioneered and patented the Lithium-thickener technology. It is now the world’s most popular grease thickener.
Huibert Vigeveno, Executive Chairman of Shell Companies in China, said: "Shell is the number one international supplier of lubricants in terms of market share in China. By building Shell’s largest grease plant in China, we are able to be closer to our customers.
China’s lubricants demand, including that for grease, is growing fast and we are committed to meeting our customers’ needs and serving them well.”
This Zhuhai grease plant’s opening follows on the heels of a series of Shell lubricants supply chain investments. In the same complex in November 2009, Shell opened its largest operating lubricants blending plant in Asia (by volume) to supply southern China with mainstream lubricant products and in August 2011, Shell opened a state-of-the-art Lubricants Technical Service Centre. This provides technical, marketing and training support to lubricants customers and OEMs.
Elsewhere in China, Shell announced in August 2012 that its plans to build one of Shell’s largest lubricants blending plant worldwide in Tianjin, near Beijing. Shell was the first international oil company to open a lubricants blending plant in Russia in October 2012. In November 2012, Shell announced plans to build its first lubricants oil blending plant in Indonesia.
About Shell Lubricants
The term ‘Shell Lubricants’ collectively refers to Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. Shell sells a wide variety of lubricants to meet customer needs across a range of applications. These include consumer motoring, heavy-duty transport, mining, power generation and general engineering. Shell’s portfolio of lubricant brands includes Shell Helix, Shell Rimula, and Shell Spirax. We are active across the full lubricant supply chain. We manufacture base oils in eight plants, we blend base oils with additives to make finished lubricants in almost 70 plants, and we distribute market and sell lubricants in over 100 countries.
We have more experts talking to more customers than any other lubricants supplier. We have over 350 technical support specialists and 1,000 sales professionals working with customers every day. We offer a wide range of services in addition to our products, including Shell LubeMatch, a market leading online tool that matches lubricants to vehicles and equipments, and Shell LubeAnalyst, an early warning system that enables our business customers to monitor the condition of their equipment and lubricant, helping to save money on maintenance.
Shell’s world-class technology is applied in our products and technological collaborations. We have four leading lubricants research centres in Germany, the UK, the USA, and Japan (in a joint venture with Showa Shell) with more than 200 scientists and engineers dedicated to lubricants research and development.
We have 150 + patent series for lubricants, base oils and greases. One of the ways we push the boundaries of lubricant technology is by working closely with top motor racing teams such as Scuderia Ferrari and Penske Racing. These technical partnerships enable us to expand our knowledge of lubrication science and transfer cutting-edge technology from the racetrack to our commercial products.
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