Another Shell first in China: Launch of latest engine oils for natural gas vehicles
May 20, 2015
Shell Lubricants has launched two new products in China for trucks and buses running on natural gas – Shell Rimula R5 NG and Shell Rimula R3 NG.
These products represent the latest in lubricant technology designed to meet the very specific operating conditions in natural gas engines. China is the world’s fastest growing market for vehicles running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel. Shell now has a full range of natural gas engine oils to cater to this growing fleet of vehicles, ranging from heavy duty trucks and buses to smaller vehicles such as taxis.
“We are excited to be able to bring these new products to our Chinese customers, first. It is vital that Shell is able to supply engine oils that help our customers get the most from their natural gas vehicles, especially as this segment of vehicles is growing exceptionally in China. It is gratifying to see our new lubricant products come to market; they are backed by strong R&D and testing to meet the very specific needs of these engines, given their different combustion systems and requirements. The Chinese market remains very important for the long term growth aspirations of our lubricants business and we are committed to staying close to our customers evolving needs.” said Swee Chen Goh, Vice President of Shell Lubricants Asia Pacific.
Research suggests that China will increase its natural gas vehicle population from 1.6 million in 2012 to 5 million by 2020.1 Many truck and bus fleet operators have started converting their vehicles to use natural gas fuels, spurred on by the Chinese government’s implementation of the National IV standards of Vehicle Emission Pollution Control and Supervision.
Natural gas engines require dedicated engine oils because they have different combustion systems and after-treatment system requirements compared to diesel engines. Natural gas burns hotter than other hydrocarbon fuels, which puts the engine oil through more severe thermal stress, oxidation and nitration. This may cause the formation of oil sludge and carbon deposits inside the engine. Using natural gas as a fuel may also result in inadequate lubrication of the engine valves, as its cleaner and drier properties produce few carbon particles in the combustion chamber. Shell Rimula’s new range of natural gas engine oils effectively lubricate and clean the engine by promoting thermal stability and detergency control, resulting in a well-oiled engine performing at its best.
These new natural gas engine oils have been developed with Shell’s combined expertise in LNG and lubricant technology.2 Shell believes while LNG fuel for transport is currently at an early stage, it could become a material segment, especially for shipping and heavy-duty road transport. LNG fuel has the potential to provide economic and environmental benefits, as it is cost-competitive and cleaner than diesel and fuel oil in terms of sulphur, particulates and nitrogen oxides, and can help reduce well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, with the new Shell Rimula R5 NG and Shell Rimula R3 NG, Shell Lubricants is prepared to cater to this new emerging transport segment.
1 “China natural gas vehicles”, Standard Chartered Equity Research, 2012
2 Shell has over 50 years of experience in handling LNG and over 70 years of expertise in lubricant technology.
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Notes to Editors:
- Shell Rimula R5 NG and Shell Rimula R3 NG are designed for use in all vehicle types with engines running on 100% liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel. They offer benefits such as longer oil drain intervals, improved oxidation stability, reduced copper corrosion and deposit control. Other products in Shell’s range of NGEOs include: Shell Rimula R6 LM and Shell Rimula R2 CNG. Shell Rimula R6 LM is the top tier product of the series, featuring an extra-long oil drain interval, while Shell R2 CNG is the range’s entry-level product.
- In the United States, Shell offers its NGEO solution under the Shell Rotella brand - Shell Rotella T3 NG. Shell Rotella T3 NG is formulated for use in CNG and LNG-fueled engines.
- At Shell we believe natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, will play an increasingly important role in the global energy mix. Shell is an LNG pioneer, with 50 years of expertise in handling, storing and transporting LNG and applying best practice industry and safety standards. Our involvement in developing LNG starts with sourcing through to delivering the fuel to our customers.
- Shell is the leading international oil company marketing lubricants in China, with 12 % of the total market share. China is the growth engine for the lubricants sector globally. It is currently the second largest market, after the USA, in terms of volume but it is expected to soon become the largest market globally with 1/5 of world demand (2017-2018). (Kline and Company, 2014)
- Shell has made multi-million dollar investments in its lubricants supply chain in Asia, particularly in China, in the last 2-3 years. Our seventh China lubricant blending plant, located in Tianjin, is under construction and will be operational later this year.
- Chinese customers were also the first to access Shell Lubricant’s latest innovation Shell PurePlus Technology, which allows Shell to produce lubricants from natural gas. This technology provides an alternative starting point for the manufacture of finished lubricants – natural gas instead of crude oil. Shell is able to deliver gas-to-liquid (GTL) base oil produced in its Pearl GTL plant in Qatar to lubricant plants in China via its storage hub in Hong Kong.
- On R&D, we employ over 200 top scientists to specialise in the research and development of lubricant technology. In 2014, we opened a new technology centre in Shanghai. We also work closely with academic institutions including Beijing’s Tsinghua University on technology development for lubricants.
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 Pennzoil, Quaker State, Shell Helix, Shell Rotella, Shell Tellus and Shell Rimula. We are active across the full lubricant supply chain. We manufacture base oils in eight plants, blend base oils with additives to make lubricants in over 50 plants, distribute, market and sell lubricants in over 100 countries. We also provide technical and business support to customers. We offer lubricant-related services in addition to our product range. These include: Shell LubeMatch –the market leading product on-line recommendation tool, Shell LubeAdvisor - helps customers to select the right lubricant through highly trained Shell technical staff as well as online tools, and Shell LubeAnalyst - an early warning system that enables customers to monitor the condition of their equipment and lubricant, helping to save money on maintenance and avoid potential lost business through equipment failure. Shell’s world-class technology works to deliver value to our customers. Innovation, product application and technical collaboration are at the heart of Shell lubricants. We have leading lubricants research centres in China, Germany, Japan (in a joint venture with Showa Shell), and the USA. We invest significantly in technology and work closely with our customers to develop innovative lubricants. We have a patent portfolio with 150 + patent series for lubricants, base oils and greases; more than 200 scientists and lubricants engineers dedicated to lubricants research and development. Customer benefits include lower maintenance costs, longer equipment life and reduced energy consumption. One of the ways we push the boundaries of lubricant technology is by working closely with top motor racing teams such as Scuderia Ferrari. 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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