Shell to Close Blending Plant in Trinidad


Shell plans to close a lubricants blending plant on the west coast of Trinidad – an island in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, just northeast of South America – by June, saying the facility has been unable to remain profitable in the current market.

Following a significant regional portfolio review, Shell has decided to cease operations in June this year, or earlier, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told Lube Report. We will then prepare the facility for sale over the following months.

Smith noted that around 50 Shell employees at its Port Lisas plant will be affected. Shell is working closely to assist these employees, he said. Around 30 contractors will also be impacted.

According to the companys Shell Trinidad through the years 1993-2013 publication, the lubricants blending plant was built at Port Lisas in 1993 to supply local markets, Central America and the rest of the Carribean. The plants products included automotive, industrial and marine oils – such as greases, hydraulic fluids, compressor, bearing and turbine oils – made available in bulk, intermediate bulk containers, drums, pails and small packs. As of 2013, the publication indicated the plant produced 3.3 million liters of lubricants per month. The products were distributed by Shell and Laughlin and De Gannes until 2009, when local company FT Farfan was contracted to serve as the macro distributor.

While we have a long history at Port Lisas and are proud of the work we have done there, the market has not allowed this plant to remain a profitable business, Smith stated. We are making these changes to ensure we have the right mix of assets to deliver maximum value to our shareholders, perform to our business strategy and make our regional supply chain more competitive. Shell will continue to supply lubricants products throughout Trinidad and Tobago via a macro-distributor.”