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Lube alternatives espoused by Gulf Marine

Singapore: More than 100 people flocked to the Marina Mandarin Hotel yesterday, opposite Suntec, for Gulf Oil Marine's Technical Day. Attendees were given a very comprehensive market guide to the world of marine lubes. Gulf Marine (stand B03) ceo Caroline Huot said both her industry and the shipping sector as a whole "stood at a crossroads". She observed that the lube products on the market today are generally ten years old, and yet the engines they serve are all vastly different, more advanced specimens than a decade ago.
Thomas To, Gulf Marine's North Asia Technical Director, then went on to warn of the continuing decline in reserves of bright stock base oil. Only 1% of global refining is for base stocks, with marine plants generally dismissed in favour of industrial and auto plants. All this has meant that the costs of bright stocks in base oil for marine lubes remain high. Alternatives to bright stocks were discussed. Polymers were dismissed as prohibitively expensive (US$1,300 per metric ton), while changing cylinder oil viscosity from SAE 50 to 40 was deemed a good idea. Substituting Group I base oils with Group II was also recommended.
Blending on board formed a strong point of debate with Gulf Marine coming out in favour of the concept for larger vessels as a big cost and emission saver.
The full day event moved in the evening to a raucous dinner in the ambient surroundings of One Rochester. 
[20/04/09]

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