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March 20, 2013

Volume 17 Issue 52

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Shell Adding Assets in Shanghai

Shell plans to open a new lubricants technical center in Shanghai, China, in 2014, driven by the company’s growing lubricants business in the country.

“Our lubricants business in China has expanded so quickly that there is a need for greater technical research and service capacity in the country,” a Shell spokesperson told Lube Report. “In response to this need, we plan to build a new, larger technical center in Shanghai to be opened in early 2014.” In August 2011, the company opened its first China lubricants technical service center in Zhuhai.

The spokesperson noted that Selda Gunsel, Shell’s global commercial technology vice president, moved from Houston to Shanghai during 2012 to continue her role there, including the establishment of the new lubricants technical center.

Shell currently has six lubricant blending plants in China, supplying consumer, transport, industrial and marine lubricants. In August 2012, Shell announced plans to build a seventh blending plant in Tianjin, in northern China, with 300 million liters per year capacity initially, and potential to expand to 500 million liters per year.

In January 2013, the company announced the opening of a new 30,000 metric tons per year grease plant in Zhuhai, in China’s Guangdong province. The grease plant, Shell’s largest, will have potential for expansion to 40,000 tons a year. The company said it will make a range of lithium, lithium calcium and lithium complex greases used mainly in passenger cars and industrial bearings.

Shell estimates the Asia Pacific region will represent more than 50 percent of all lubricants demand by 2020, with almost 50 percent of that growth expected to come from China. Key segments include consumer demand, driven by growth in the number of Chinese vehicles, and industry demand, led by infrastructure related sectors such as mining, construction and steel.