On December 14, Shell started construction of its largest grease manufacturing plant worldwide (by volume) at a groundbreaking ceremony in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, in China. The plant is a new addition to Shell’s lubricants manufacturing complex at Zhuhai.

The plant will produce lithium, lithium calcium and lithium complex greases which are used in passenger cars and industrial bearing lubrication. The plant will be Shell’s largest grease manufacturing facility with the potential for future expansion up to 40,000 tonnes per annum. It is primarily designed to meet China’s growing greases demand but in time may also export to other markets.

This new grease plant marks Shell’s next major step in developing the Zhuhai location to support its fast growing lubricants business in China and is a further demonstration of Shell Downstream’s strategy to focus on countries where there are growth opportunities. 

In the same complex in November 2009, Shell opened its largest lubricants blending plant in Asia (by volume) to supply southern China with mainstream lubricant products including Shell Helix, Shell Rimula, Shell Tellus, Shell Omala and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products. In August 2010, Shell started construction of a state-of-the-art technical service center to provide technical, marketing and training support to lubricants customers and OEMs. The center will be open for service in the second quarter of 2011.

Lim Haw-Kuang, executive chairman of Shell Companies in China, said: “This is a major step forward to expand our lubricants capacity in China with local manufacturing, supply as well as technical service and cooperation. China’s lubricants demand is growing fast and we are working hard to meet our customers’ needs and serve them well.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Shell has been named the No. 1 global lubricants supplier, selling more lubricants in 2009 than any other company in the world. Shell is already the largest international lubricants supplier in Asia by sales volume and the number one international supplier of lubricants in terms of market share in China.