Through its Pennzoil-Quaker State Company subsidiary, energy major Shell has acquired a 49% stake in Blue Tide Environmental, a US company that is seeking to establish a worldwide network of plants to recycle used lubricants.
Shell is a prominent maker of lubricants like gear and hydraulic oil, and it is looking to strengthen its participation in the circular economy, whereby waste is minimised by using it to produce new products rather than discarding it. While many modern, advanced lubricants have much longer service lives than in the past, they still need to be safely drained and replaced at regular intervals to ensure the reliable and efficient operation of machinery. Blue Tide and Shell believe that recycling this used oil is critical to making the lubricant industry more sustainable.
In a statement, Shell Lubricants Executive Vice President Machteld de Haan said about this:
“Acquiring an interest in Blue Tide is a step in our journey to support a circular economy for lubricants. We look forward to working closely with Blue Tide to evaluate opportunities for recycled lubricants as we continue to develop sustainable solutions to complement our existing range of products.”
Blue Tide is currently working on getting its plant in Baytown, Texas ready to go live in 2024. Once operational, it will be capable of processing 5,000 barrels per day of used lubricant into high-quality base oils for use in making new lubricants or other products. The two companies will also collaborate in exploring new ways to improve the sustainability of lubricants.