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Lubes and fuels in the spotlight at Russian Far East conference

Lubes and fuels in the spotlight at Russian Far East conference

Vladivostok: The Maritime State University (MSU) of Vladivostok hosted a special Gulf Oil Marine-organised conference for international maritime training institutions here this week, that served to showcase the advantages that Russian cadets and universities have to offer the global industry. The assembled audience of academics, shipowners and MSU cadets also got to hear technical presentations from leading academics and Gulf Marine technical experts on the latest developments in the use marine lubes and fuels.

GOM has a strong commercial presence in the Russian Far East, and ceo and managing director Caroline Huot is a firm believer in the excellence of the country's technical education. Huot explains to SAO that much time and effort has been invested by her company - and by partner OEMs and shipowners - in providing Russian maritime institutions with up-to-date knowledge of lubricant technology and the effects of latest regulations. Such information exchange is a two-way street, she adds, since GOM is interested to learn from Russia's expertise in extreme cold weather lubricants, which she feels may become an important growth area in the future.  

Experts from Russian academia and GOM duly swapped R&D ideas and methodologies at the conference to identify optimal lube use, especially in light of new environmental regulations. The use of low sulphur content fuels was also discussed.

Huot says she is worried that the specialised area of marine fuels & lubes is being marginalised as these products become less financially attractive to refiners and oil companies. At the same time, the technical challenges associated with their use and cost implications are being multiplied by the introduction of ever-more-stringent regulations.

For this reason GOM provisionally plans to introduce regular courses in lube and fuel technology at MSU in the coming academic year. It has also offered long-term equipment loans, such as mobile lube testing labs, and the possibility of internships with the company.  [16/04/10]