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Lubmarine 70th anniversary logo with a mooring chain in background

The shipping industry is a challenging industry to work in. It is complex, technical, almost always in a state of flux – regulatory, geopolitical, environmental – and above all else, global.


This has been true of the last 70 years since Lubmarine first began trading in 1952. As the business has evolved so have the complexities in working in a global market.


But with our customers at the heart of our business and with the combination of product excellence and technical expertise, and a global network of partners, we have risen to the challenges we have faced as you can read about in the latest look back at Lubmarine over the past 70 years.



Consistency is Key


As an organization in conjunction with our global partners – we have to deliver consistently and with high standards, worldwide. Despite the vastly differing geographical and cultural environments our people find themselves in – consistency, safety and professionalism in pursuit of supporting our customers and their teams no matter where they are in the world is vital to our business success.


With often very small windows of time to deliver products and services to our customers’ vessels, operational excellence is critical, as Pierre Duhot, Vice President of Lubricants at TotalEnergies highlights.



Operating in Complex Environments 


“Lubmarine is a great business. But it is also a complicated one to operate because of the genuine complexity of the market – the logistical aspects of the business are hugely demanding. 


“We have to deliver to what are effectively moving industrial factories – if you deliver to a land-based factory it is always there – static and in a fixed location – with shipping we are talking about floating businesses.


“This makes it very complex.” 



A Dedication to Safety


Given the complexity of the environments in which our teams, partners and customers operate, safety is fundamental at Lubmarine, an ethos woven deeply within all aspects of our business as Norbert Schieren highlights from his time at the helm.


“One of the key issues we really focussed on was the start of our dedicated safety campaign. We placed a lot of additional emphasis on training for our staff, our customers and third parties – because delivering product to ships is a hazardous business and we needed to strive for any work that was done to be done in a safe and secure manner.”


In 2021 we were pleased to reveal that across the Lubmarine business we had successfully achieved more than 4,000 days without a safety incident or accident.


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the maritime and shipping community experienced an even greater focus on safety which was essential in protecting working environments and safeguarding the welfare and health of crew at sea and workers at ports and refinery plants, right across our network of partners and operations.


“Safety is a core value, and is the cornerstone of our own operational excellence. We believe all accidents can be prevented, even though our activities present a variety of risks,” says current Lubmarine General Manager Arnaud Guichard.


“We believe it is essential to build ownership and commitment across all our operations as to how everyone manages their safety in the workplace, and to question and challenge safety procedures for more effective and efficient working with less risk,” he added.



Embracing Data to Drive Operational Improvements


When the business started in 1952, technology was scare – especially compared to today! But as technology has developed it has had a massive impact on the shipping industry, enabling the ability to trap, send, monitor and access information to improve the understanding of the operating parameters on any individual marine engine no matter where it is in the world.


Robert Joore remembers just how important data became in his time as General Manager in enabling Lubmarine to support customers through increased knowledge and understanding of their vessels’ engines, helping inform and shape more effective lubrication management decisions.


“Data and digitalization increasingly became a core part of our strategy towards the end of my time at the helm with us focussing on “current, reliable, timely and trusted data” to help us better understand the changing world in which we live.  


“Information rich data on how our lubricants work, helped our customers improve the operational performance and integrity of their engines 24/7. We developed new ways in which we obtained information from our product data, providing us with a deep-dive into how customers use our lubricants versus engine cleanliness, operating parameters, and engine wear damage protection.  


“We also advanced our drain oil service offer and adapted it to the new OEMs’ guidelines. In line with that we also improved the way we used additional vessel operating information such as engine condition, engine load, fuel type, running hours and temperature, to gain real insight in to how engines and their lubrication perform,” he said.



70 Years of Working with Trusted Partners


When Antar developed its new lubricants for marine engines in the 1950s, it also recognized the important role that partners around the world could play to help keep vessels supplied, ensuring engines were consistently lubricated no matter their location.


The model, which identified the strategic benefits of working with a pre-existing network of trusted partners around the world to maintain the supply chain and overcome any logistical issues, was born.



The Partner Perspective


This approach to partnerships is perhaps best explained by some of our partners themselves.


A Founding Partner


Based in Lisbon, Galp was one of the founding partners in 1952 with Antar a long-standing and positive collaboration that remains as strong today with both teams working very closely together.  


“Our partnership with Lubmarine helps us deliver high performance products and services to our clients no matter where they are in the world. We have global reach and consistent quality and that is valuable for us, and our customers,” said Eurico Ferreira, Product Manager of Industry and Marine Lubricants at Galp.


Serving the World’s Largest Island Archipelago


In Indonesia the world’s largest archipelago made up of over 17,000 islands, another long-standing relationship thrives with Lubmarine partner Arthamas Sejahtera Mulia, which Lubmarine has worked with for over 20 years.


“Over the past 20+ years we have developed a fantastic relationship with Lubmarine. We feel like a family and the partnership is really positive. We meet with the teams often and have a really close and positive working relationship, with our customers at the heart of that positive partnership,” says Lina Fransisca, director and founding partner


“We work exclusively with Lubmarine and that is important to us as it is a differentiator and enables us to ensure consistency, quality and reliability across both the marine and power plant sectors principally,” said Lina.


Supplying Customers Around the World


One of the oldest working relationships that has flourished and grown is with fellow energy company Repsol, which spans over 60 years.


“From those very early days of the relationship back in the 1960’s, the relationship with Lubmarine has blossomed into what today is a truly global one, and one that we very much enjoy,” says Almudena Ruiz Ruiz, Repsol’s Lubricant and Specialities Operations Manager.


“Both companies are highly customer-centric with shared values and this is a critical element of the success of the working relationship. The work we do together is as technically complex as it is logistically challenging. So the approach and delivery has to be seamless whether we are supplying the Lubmarine customer or Lubmarine is supplying ours.”


Powering an Industry Through Partnership


In Ecuador, not only is the relationship with our partner Lubrisa, working with the shipping owners and operators, but also serves to provide lubricants and technical services to the country’s power generation plants as Francisco Lopez General Manager of Lubrisa, based in Guayaquil City explains.


“Lubmarine is a great brand and a great partner to work with. Their approach to customer service reflects ours, product quality and performance is extremely high and we really enjoy the relationship we have with the team there.


“Ship operators are an important sector for us and one of the advantages for them in using Lubmarine products is not just in their physical performance but also in their global availability combined with the level of customer service and technical support available.


“But the biggest user of our lubricants here in Ecuador are the inland electrical power generation plants which are in place to back up Ecuador’s main hydro-electric generation plants. These plants use MAN ES, Wärtsilä and Hyundai engines predominantly so our products and technical support are ideally suited to support these engines and we supply 100% of the inland power plants here in Ecuador,” added Francisco.


Global partnerships continue to play a vital role here at Lubmarine today with some of the very first relationships still commercially active and flourishing today. It is these collaborations that enable us to supply our marine lubricant products and services around the world, 24/7, 365 days a year.

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