In December of 2022, we shared the exciting news that Shell Lubricants invested in Blue Tide Environmental (Blue Tide) to support their journey into a circular economy for lubricants. This month, Lubes’n’Greases sat down to talk with Max Blezer, base oil new business development manager, and Dr. Jason Brown, general manager of industry and transport technology with Shell Lubricants, to discuss in more detail why the company invested in Blue Tide.
Lubes’n’Greases jumped right in with the question on everyone in the industry’s mind, other than ours and Shell’s: Why Blue Tide? According to Max and Jason, the answer to that question is the technology, experts from within the industry, and the ability to reduce Shell’s carbon footprint to reach their Net Zero 2050 goal.
“As part of our lubricant strategy, we are really focusing on our carbon footprint, increasing sustainability and improving circularity of our lubricants. There are different ways of doing that, and we really see that re-refining is one of them. And that is the reason we decided to acquire Blue Tide. As you already mentioned, it’s a plant that is currently under construction in Bay Town, Texas. Blue Tide basically pulled experts from the industry together, they have a very experienced dimensional team, and they also have proven technology.”Max Blezer
Blue Tide will produce 5,000 barrels of highly-purified base oil daily at our state-of-the-art facility. Shell plans to offtake some of the product and the rest of this premium base oil will be available for sale.
“Looking at re-refining globally, there are quite some variations of quality. For Shell, it’s really important to make sure we only use and produce a re-refined base oil that is really comparable to virgin origins.”Max Blezer
Together, Shell and Blue Tide will drive the conversation in the industry, pushing others in this space toward a circular economy and increasing the overall quality of base oils.
“It’s one thing to sit on the outside and be a user of the technology, it’s another thing to come in and put a stake in the ground…and be a part of how you influence how that moves forward…It also allows us to start the process of normalizing the quality of re-refined base stocks. We now have the chance to influence what that quality is going out the door.”Dr. Jason Brown
The future of the lubricant business isn’t declining, in fact, it’s continuing to grow—fluids will continue to be used in all new and sustainable technology. Currently, 80% is being burned and used as energy. With Shell and Blue Tide working together, we hope to satisfy our customers’ needs and move towards a more sustainable future.
Listen to the full conversation here.
Reference: Johns, Simon, et al. “Podcast: Shell on the Blue Tide.” Lubes’n’Greases, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.lubesngreases.com/category-article/base-stocks/conventional-base-stocks/rerefined/podcast-shells-blue-tide-acquisition/. Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.