16 December 2010 05:01 [Source: ICIS news]
SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Shell is building a grease manufacturing plant at Zhuhai in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong to firmly consolidate its position as Asia’s largest international lubricants supplier, a company source said on Thursday.
The plant, a new addition to Shell’s lubricants manufacturing complex at Zhuhai, would produce lithium, lithium calcium and lithium complex greases, which are used in cars and for industrial bearing lubrication, the source added.
It would be the world’s largest grease manufacturing plant, with the potential for future expansion of up to 40,000 tonnes/year, the source added.
It was primarily designed to meet China’s growing demand for grease, but exports to other markets were also a possibility in the future, the source added.
In the first 11 months of 2010, China’s total grease production surged 43.9% year on year to 226,000 tonnes, while its lubricants output grew 13.1% to 7.8m tonnes, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
In the last five years, demand for lubricants had rapidly increased in China, the world’s second largest buyer of automobiles, a senior analyst said. China is also the world’s third largest vehicle manufacturer.
Shell has an existing 400,000 tonne/year lubricant blending plant in Zhuhai, which started operations in November 2009. The plant is currently operating at around 50% of capacity, which is sufficient to meet current demand, the company source said.
Shell is the largest international lubricants supplier in Asia by sales volume, the source added.
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