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Chevron Lube Oil Helps Sea Princess Operate More Efficiently

With the utilization of increasingly sophisticated shipboard machinery, particularly main engines, ship owner/operators, more than ever, depend on a ship's lube oil to keep the ship running smoothly and efficiently.

Recent results from the engine bay of a tanker ship indicates that the use of DELO 3000 Marine 30 oil from Chevron Marine Lubricants can help benefit the engine, ship and shipowner in the short and long-term. Colt Ship Management's 800 ft. (244 m) Sea Princess works a world itinerary, powered by two diesel engines — with a total of 32, 16-in. pistons — powering the propellers.

When Colt Ship Management, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, first took over management of Sea Princess in 1993, it noted that the vessel — before its use of DELO 3000 Marine 30 —began to build up sludge inside the engine, according to Chevron. The ship's purifiers were being taken out of service and de-sludged every five days for a cleaning that took quite a few hours. Between the ship's extra maintenance and filter replacement costs, the sludge buildup alone was hurting Sea Princess' profit margin. At the end of 1996, the ship's lubrication contract was put out to bid, and Chevron won the business based on a total package solution of product performance, technical support and competitive pricing.

In his presentation to win the business, Chevron Marine Lubricants Territory Manager Todd McKenna informed Colt Ship Management Chief Engineer Lucien Durmont that DELO 3000-30 would probably clean up the sludge problem. Despite skepticism, Colt managers accepted Chevron's approach.

When Sea Princess switched to DELO 3000 Marine 30 in the beginning of 1997, a curious event occurred: Filter pluggings were even more frequent. It was determined, however, that this was not because DELO was creating more sludge, but because it was helping to clean the engine's internal components. After a few months and a couple of top-ups, the sludge reportedly virtually disappeared. "The most noticeable difference was in the purifiers and filters. They were sludge free. And the pump was immaculate, too. We recently went 21 days without cleaning the filter, and when we did look, there was no sludge,"explained Mr. Durmont.

Colt Ship Management reports that it is now saving approximately $4,000 per month on filters, $500 per month on labor (to replace the filters), and $800 per month on labor to clean the purifier, totaling savings close to $65,000 per year. These savings lowered the ship's operating costsand, according Mr. Durmont, the oil's performance so far points to the potential for extended engine life. "We now hope to be able to make a quantum leap by lengthening the interval between ring, piston and bearing renewals," he said.

While Chevron relies on its products to do the job onboard, the rapidly changing maritime market demands that it do more, and the company's relationship with its customer expands far beyond delivering DELO at the dock. "Today's rapidly changing marine shipping business demands a value-added relationship with a lubrication company," explained Brent Lowe, Manager of Chevron Marine Lubricants. "Our experience with the Sea Princess illustrates this point. We worked closely with the Sea Princess engineers to select the right Chevron lubricant for the engine as well as other mechanical systems on the ship." This commitment wasn't lost on Mr. Durmont. "The Chevron sales and support network is truly interested how the Chevron product is assisting our operation," he explained. "Chevron products meet OEM requirements, and Chevron provides expertise and performance analysis. Plus they can deliver anywhere in the world in a timely manner at a competitive price."

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