Marine lubricants are lubricants obtained from the processing of crude oil, used in various marine ship applications such as engines, hydraulics, and compressors. These lubricants help maintain low temperatures by dissipating the heat produced from friction. Lubricants are derived from animal, vegetable, or mineral sources and are used for facilitating various functions such as extracting contaminants, preventing wear and tear in all forms, ensuring good bearing operation, completing gas sealing at piston ring level, preventing corrosion, and reducing friction. Marine lubricants are mainly used in seashore countries and find extensive application in shipping and oil & gas industries.
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The engine segment accounts for a sizeable share of the market due to its large application area, and high consumption and requirement of large amounts of lubricants. On the other hand, growing demand for heat transfer fluids, gears, and turbines are also expected to drive market growth over the forecast period. Marine lubricants are vital for greater resistance to rust, lower viscosity loss, and greater anti-wear capacity of an engine
Choice of marine lubricant is largely dependent on machine, application, operating condition, and environment. Mineral oil is better soluble with additives and offers enhanced compatibility with seal at low costs. The demand for mineral oil is thus highest in comparison to other lubricants. Synthetic lubricators are used in extreme environmental conditions and are relatively more expensive than mineral oil. Bio-based oils are degradable and thus meet the increased environmental safety requirement, this has caused bio-based oils to gain more traction over other lubricants.
Lubricants are available in various viscosities for different equipment function. The Ship loading capacities are also considered when selecting marine lubricants.
Marine Lubricant Market Outlook – Surging Demand in Asia Pacific Augmenting Market Growth
Asia Pacific is estimated to be the largest market for marine lubricants, followed by Europe. China, India, and Singapore are among the largest consumers of marine lubricants. Europe is estimated to be the second largest market for marine lubricants. Though, the market share of the region is expected to experience a significant decline due to the shifting of shipbuilding and shipping activities to Asia Pacific. This shift is due to cheap raw material and low labor costs in countries of Asia Pacific.
The Middle East and Africa have low demand for marine lubricants compared to Asia Pacific. However, the Middle East being a hub for oil and gas export, relies on shipping industry for transport of oil to Asian markets. This is expected to accelerate growth of the market in the region, over the forecast period.
North America and Latin America are witnessing poor growth in the marine industry, primarily due to energy self-sufficiency and poor port infrastructure, which discourages shipbuilding operations in these regions.
The infrastructure development and new alternatives technologies for the shipping industry are the main drivers for the marine lubricant market growth. The demand of base stock group II over base stock group I provides companies with an opportunity to target more costumers.
Marine Lubricant Market Challenges –
This industry depends upon the trades between countries over large distances. The decrease in trades, restrains growth of this industry. Marine lubricants contain sulfur and nitrogen, which are endanger the aquatic life. This concern has led to stringent environmental regulations against the use of marine lubricants, this poses as a major threat for growth of the market. Shell is one of the leading companies in the marine lubricant market. Other major companies operating in the market include BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Sinopec Corporation, Lukoil, Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd, and Total S.A.
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