Shell is starting construction of a major new lubricants blending plant, the first to be built by an international oil company in Russia.
According to Shell, the plant being built in Torzhok in the Tver region will have a capacity of 200 million litres a year (about 180,000 tons), making it one of the largest in the company’s network worldwide.
Commercial operation is expected to begin by the end of 2010.
According to Shell, bringing production capacity closer to customers will allow it to supply motor oils, transport oils and industrial lubricants to the Russian market, with the potential to expand distribution to neighbouring countries.
David Pirret, executive vice-president for Shell Lubricants, said: ‘Russia is a country of strategic importance for Shell, and this announcement is further evidence of our commitment to grow our business here, not only in upstream but also in downstream.
‘Russia is the third largest lubricants market in the world and it is vital that Shell, as the leading global lubricants supplier, has a significant presence here. Shell Lubricants has seen seven consecutive years of profitable growth in Russia and we believe that setting up lubricants production facilities will help us capitalise on further growth opportunities.’
Dmitry Zelenin, the governor of the Tver region, said: ‘The plant will use advanced operational and organisational technologies, employ Russian workforce - from maintenance to managers, and create around 150 new jobs.'