Shell launches 2020 VLSFO lube

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

10 April 2019


Lubricant maker, Shell Marine is introducing Shell Alexia 40 – a new two-stroke engine cylinder oil specifically for use with engines running on 0.5% sulphur content Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO).

With a Base Number of 40, Shell Alexia 40 has been developed to optimise equipment performance and condition as ship owners and charterers prepare for the 0.50% global sulphur limit for marine fuels in 2020. Shell Marine expects most of the world’s shipping fleet will aim to comply with IMO 2020 by switching to fuels with a sulphur content of 0.5% and below.

After extensive testing at Shell’s Marine & Power Innovation Centre in Hamburg and working closely with original equipment manufacturers, Shell Alexia 40 has undergone thousands of hours of trials on board four ships with the latest engine types, using representative IMO 2020-compliant fuels, to verify performance at sea. The new product will be available for use in Singapore from 1 June 2019 and will be gradually introduced to other main supply ports within the Shell Marine global network such as the US, China, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands before 1 January 2020.

The launch of Shell Alexia 40 will coincide with an introduction of the new Shell Alexia two-stroke engine oils portfolio, highlighting the relationship between fuel grade and recommended cylinder oil Base Number after the implementation of the IMO’s global sulphur limit for marine fuels in 2020. All Shell Alexia grades are fully miscible and compatible with the existing portfolio.

The five products in the Shell Alexia portfolio are now directly branded by BN as Shell Alexia 25, 40, 70, 100 and 140 to minimise errors on board and maximise opportunities to align lubricant selection with the fuel in use. For example, Shell Alexia 25 is recommended for 0.1% Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil/LNG, while Shell Alexia 100 and 140 are recommended for owners preferring to operate on HSHFO with exhaust gas scrubbers.

“Shell Marine can help ship owners and charterers be prepared as the world moves to a low emissions future. As a trusted partner, we will help our customers to have the right lubricants in the right place at the right time to take the uncertainty out of fuel selection,” said Joris van Brussel, Shell Marine Global General Manager.

“Owners transitioning to the post-IMO 2020 marine fuels era need peace of mind over the condition and performance of their engines. To remove any uncertainty, Shell Alexia 40’s performance has been fully tested on representative VLSFOs and engines for the operating conditions owners will actually face,” said Shaw Siang Hew, Shell Marine Regional Sales Manager for ASEAN and South Asia.

“Post IMO 2020, it is imperative for engine performance that customers can rely on the cylinder oils they choose,” said van Brussel. Shell Marine also recognises that cylinder oil technical services that are tailored to the needs of owners are critical to the successful management of engine performance. “Lubricant condition tools, such as Shell LubeAnalyst and Shell LubeMonitor, will be vital for managing engine performance, but also for optimising lubricant feed rates and costs,” he added.