Shell Marine introduces 'new and unique' lubricants management programme

Multi-faceted strategy designed to simplify owners' operations and help reduce costs.

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Updated on 09 May 2017 13:01 GMT

Shell Marine has introduced its Marine Integrated Lubrication and Expert Solutions (MILES) programme, which the company describes as a "new and unique approach in lubricants management".

The new initiative includes combining purchasing options, services and an extensive range of lubricant products in a multi-faceted strategy designed to address its customers' most pressing operational concerns.

Shell says it is also considering continuous product and service developments as part of an integrated strategy that includes innovative delivery options and a coherent response to digital disruption in the maritime sector.

"It is vital that Shell Marine is responsive to the challenges in the maritime industry where complexity and cost pressure is the new normal," remarked Jan Toschka, Shell Marine Executive Director. "The flood of new regulations, changing engine technology, new fuels, efficiency pressures and increasing digitalisation means ship owners must adapt to thrive. It is only natural that they look to suppliers not only to help optimise their operating costs, but also to take away operational complexities where possible, allowing them to focus on their core business."

"We are helping our customers to reduce their operational costs by monitoring lubricant consumption and providing advice about future volume liftings and ports. This offer, in particular when combined with our technical services, helps customers not only to generate cost savings but also reduce complexity on their side," he added.

Digital technology

To maximise scale and benefits of MILES, Shell is working with external experts to develop digital solutions utilising greater connectivity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. This, Shell notes, will allow it to offer a wide range of new services - from building recommendations about optimal volume/port lifting as well as creating ways to reduce purchasing costs to the extent of managing the entire lubrication management for the vessel. By combining stock levels, demand planning and supply costs, Shell says this will lead to greater synergies with its customers.

In addition to the new lubricant solutions, Shell intends to offer different payment solutions to help ship owners optimise their working capital and budgeting. 'Flexi pay' or 'pay-as-you-consume' schemes from other industries have been considered and Shell believes that helping customers flatten their operating expenses as well as budgets will benefit them over time.

New product development

Shell stresses that continuous product development is critical in meeting the industry's technical challenges. The company's recently developed lubricant, Alexia 140, is a BN 140 cylinder oil that is aimed at addressing issues related to corrosive wear in some highly-tuned, two-stroke engines. It also supports blend-on-board mixing and blending, such as MAN Diesel & Turbo's automated cylinder oil mixing (ACOM), to find the optimal feed rate for customers' engines.

Shell Alexia 140 is scheduled to be made available in the third quarter of 2017 at selected ports. Deliveries will be combined with Shell's cylinder monitoring service, LubeMonitor.

Meanwhile, Shell's portfolio of four-stroke engine oils - Shell Argina and Shell Gadinia - require oil in lower amounts that can perform well at higher temperature and pressures. They have been developed to provide engine cleanliness and lacquer control.

Summing up, Toschka remarked: "Shell Marine acknowledges that the marine industry needs smarter and more intelligent ways to work together and create synergies on both sides, for ship owners and suppliers. Our customers have responded positively to our new services and we are committed to introduce these new ways of working to a wider customer base."