Shell Lubricants has positioned itself as an innovator for its contribution to a revolutionary step change in a product formulation for lubricants
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Sept. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the lubricants industry, Frost & Sullivan recognises Shell Lubricants with the 2014 sub-Saharan Africa Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Leadership. This groundbreaking Shell PurePlus Technology is a game changer in the lubricants industry. Unlike most lubricant producers that derive their base oil from crude oil, Shell has been using its proprietary patented technology to produce base oil from natural gas at its Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar since 2012.
In 2014, Shell announced that all of its premium motor oil brand Shell helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology is made using Shell PurePlus Technology base oils from Pearl. These base oils, which typically make up 75-85% of motor oil, are cleaner, more effective, offer better performance than typical group III and are cost comparable with other fully synthetic lubricants.
"The Shell PurePlus Technology is based on their proprietary Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) process," said Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager, Avril Harvey. "Through this process, natural gas (methane) is piped from the ground and mixed with pure oxygen to create synthesis gas, which is catalytically converted to liquid form known as 'syncrude'. The syncrude is then cracked into the product ranges and distilled to create Shell PurePlus Technology base oils, which are completely clear and colourless base oils."
The Shell PurePlus Technology base oil contains significantly more iso-paraffins than Group II and other Group III base oils derived from crude and contains fewer impurities. The synthetic oil is then enhanced with Shell's Active Cleansing Technology that protects against the build-up of performance-robbing deposits to deliver enhanced cleaning power that exceeds industry standards by as much as 65 percent. Pureplus Technology is also differentiated in that it can be used to formulate motor oils such as SAE 0W-16 viscosity.
Due to its purity, improved viscosity, and volatility, the product ultimately requires consumers to top-up less often, even on the longest OEM oil drain intervals. This reduces the consumer's overall maintenance costs and helps extend the longevity of the vehicle and vehicle parts.
"Shell credits its success in continuous innovation to its matrix structure. Although it has large technology, marketing and supply chain teams, they operate as a single team," noted Avril Harvey. "Furthermore, the large volume of production from the Pearl GTL plant allows the GTL base oil to be distributed globally from Pearl to distribution hubs, and is then re-distributed from there. As a result, the formulation is consistent globally."
Shell is the only manufacturer to have produced base oils from natural gas on a commercial scale.
Over the lifetime of the project, Pearl GTL can process nearly 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas. It produces GTL liquids, including base oils, at a rate of 140,000 barrels of liquid per day, while other plants can process less than 20,000 barrels per day. It is the sheer scale of Pearl, and the unique manufacture of base oils from the GTL process, that will continue to differentiate Shell into the future.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality, gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognises the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
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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