Shell opens largest grease plant in China

UK-based oil company Shell has opened its 18th grease plant, located in Zhuhai, China, to 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 b expanded to 40,000 tonnes a year. It is primarily designed to meet China’s growing demand for greases.

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 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.


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