Shell Australia held its Technology Seminars for 2011 this month in the Hunter Valley.
The seminars, which have also been held in Kalgoorlie and Mackay, brought Shell global technical experts and the Australian mining industry together to discuss new technologies, current issues, future opportunities and trends in the market place.
Shell Australia’s sales and marketing general manager, Craig James, said Shell has been focused on "developing new ideas and solutions to help them meet their current and future challenges".
Global energy challenge
Damien Home, senior greenhouse gas advisor for Shell Australia, who presented at the technology seminars, said the global demand for energy is increasing and the stresses on the environment are growing, creating new challenges for the mining industry.
“The Australian Government’s Carbon Pricing Mechanism scheduled to commence in mid-2012 means industry will need to rethink its operations and we are working with our customers to assist them manage this transition,” Home said.
“To do this Shell focuses its efforts on four pillars: natural gas, biofuels, carbon capture and energy efficiency in operations.”
“With respect to energy efficiency our approach is to help our customers use less energy and emit less CO2.”
Energy saving products
Shell’s main contribution in helping to reduce CO2 emissions in transport fuels is to supply low-carbon fuels such as BioDiesel and potentially Liquefied Natural Gas and Shell Diesel Extra with Shell’s fuel economy formula.
Speaking on the future of fuels, Darren Barwick, a technical mining team leader at Shell Australia said Shell is one of the world’s largest distributors of biofuels.
“We are now investing in the production of the lowest CO2, most sustainable and cost-effective of today’s Biofuels made from Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol,” Mr Barwick said.
“For customers who want to benefit from fuel savings today, Shell launched Shell Diesel Extra earlier this year.”
Shell claims Shell Diesel Extra is designed to help customers get more kilometres per tank by helping to keep vehicles in peak condition.
Testing of Shell Diesel Extra has demonstrated fuel savings of up to 3%** over the lifetime of a vehicle.
Joe Galdes, a Shell product application specialist for mining lubricants, said “mining companies can make significant savings by choosing the right product.
“Recently an Australian mining company upgraded to Shell Omala S4 GX, a synthetic industry gear oil, to help cure over-heating mill drives, lengthen oil life and improve efficiency. By switching to Shell Omala S4 GX the company reported a saving of $74,000 approx per year.”
Galdes spoke about another leading Australian mining company that saved over $2.5 million over the life of eight machines by switching to Shell Malleus Grease GL 500.
“Having an excellent working relationship with this customer, we were able to identify an operational opportunity, recommend a premium product and conduct a trial which produced very convincing results,” Galdes said.
Craig James said Shell will spend more than $30 billion in Australia over next 5 years, with local investment underpinning the company’s next tranche of Liquid Natural Gas growth.
“Shell investments also include plans to build new diesel storage at its Mackay fuel terminal in North Queensland, and the redevelopment of Woodside’s fuel supply facilities at King Bay Supply Base, near Dampier in Western Australia,” James said.
“The infrastructure investments will strengthen Shell’s supply chain ensuring our customers have increased accessibility to our products.”