Hans Jensen Lubricators (HJL) was founded by engineer Hans Peter Jensen in 1917. The company initially made equipment for farmers, but soon switched to producing cylinder lubrication systems for large marine engines.

It is within this particular niche that HJL has become world renowned, and continues to innovate more than 100 years after its humble beginnings.

ORIGINS (1917-1924)

Creative visionary

After sailing for 7 years at sea with DFDS, Hans Peter Jensen went ashore and started a small blacksmith shop in Amager, Copenhagen.

The driving force behind the early company, called Hans Jensen Maskinfabrik, was the urge to create products and solutions that matter. The ability to invent and diversify proved important during times of crisis e.g. following the stock market crash in 1929 and the oil crisis during the 1970s.

The company’s values from the early days, meant that ‘things were done properly’, as stated in the centenary written in 2017.

Quote: “If you make a business agreement, you keep it, whether it’s good or bad. If you calculated incorrectly, you only have yourself to blame. A deal is a deal!”

The founder’s integrity has since been passed on from generation to generation.

First lubricators

In 1921, Hans Peter Jensen was contacted by an engineer at Burmeister & Wain Engineering and Ship Building Limited (B&W). The shipyard had gained international recognition when it launched the M/S Selandia, the largest ocean-going diesel-powered ship in the world at that time.

The first Type II lubricator was manufactured at the end of 1925, beginning of 1926. Shown here is a 4-pipe model.

Hans Jensen was asked to develop and produce a new type of cylinder lubricator for B&W’s ship engines. As a qualified mechanic, Hans Peter Jensen delivered the first Type I lubricator to B&W around the beginning of 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s more lubricator models were added.

This kickstarted a longstanding co-operation which gradually led to Hans Jensen Maskinfabrik expanded production and moved to larger production facilities in Copenhagen.

EXPANSION (1924-1977)

Leaving Copenhagen

As the company expanded through to the late 1960s, production facilities finally became too cramped and outdated, so new buildings were required.

In 1973 it was decided to relocate manufacturing from Messinavej in Copenhagen to Smedevænget in Hadsund, where the company recides today.

New factory buildings in Hadsund


Shortly after the 3rd generation of the Jensen family took over management, the world faced its first oil crisis and the sale of cylinder lubricators temporarily decreased.

With its modern engineering expertise, the company was well equipped to meet the current challenges and supplement the manufacture of cylinder lubricators with other products for a while.

The company became a subcontractor for several major Danish and foreign companies, including Danfoss, Grundfos, and Dronningborg Maskinfabrik.

It also produced parts for Volvo’s construction machinery and supplied emergency power generators to the American aircraft factory General Dynamics, which produced the F-16 combat aircraft.


The mid-80s saw a change in strategy. The times of crisis were over and global trade had picked up again. The company’s role as subcontractor was coming to an end, with the decision to approach shipowners directly to a much greater extent than in previous years.

HJL solutions are installed on most vessel types running a two-stroke engine – regardless of fuel type.

In the ‘good old days’, mainly mechanical lubricators were produced, then packed them into boxes and shipped to the likes of Korea, Japan and China.

The new business model would look quite different. Shipping companies, tanker operators and bulk carriers became the main segments to benefit from HJL’s solutions, as the company enhanced its offering by providing installation and service. The company also changed its name to Hans Jensen Lubricators (HJL), as it is now known.


Revolutionizing cylinder lubrication

Ever since it launched its first lubricator back in 1923, HJL has prioritized continuous development and innovation, but things really took off in the 1990s.

In 1997, engineer Jørn Dragsted, who was A.P. Møller Mærsk’s technical manager at the time, contacted HJL. The people at A.P. Møller had an idea for a new lubrication principle that they needed help developing. They wanted to explore the idea of spraying lubricating oil onto the cylinder wall instead of the piston itself.

Initial experiments quickly showed that this was possible when using high pressure. The new injection principle was patented by HJLHJL, and development soon began.

Hans Jensen SIP I valve

The new lubrication principle ensured a much better and more economical distribution of the cylinder lube oil, and became known as the HJ SIP, which stands for “Swirl Injection Principle.” For each piston stroke in the cylinder, a small amount of cylinder lubricating oil is sprayed into the combustion chamber. The cylinder’s air swirl is then utilized to distribute the cylinder lubricating oil onto the liner wall.

In 2004, fourth generation of the Jensen family entered the company.


Going east

The establishment of offices abroad marked a pivotal step towards global presence.

By 2006, HJL had established its first office in Shanghai, China, which significantly strengthened activity in the country in the following years. Liaisons with the largest engine builders and shipping companies including Cosco Shipping were soon established.

The Singapore skyline and Marina Bay Sands exhibition centre to the left.

In 2023, HJL opened its Singapore office. The decision to establish a branch in Singapore should further strengthen the company’s presence in Asia and enable closer relationships and knowledge-sharing with customers.



HJL recently joined G&O Maritime Group to strengthen its growth and development, as the green transition in shipping gives rise to new opportunities.

G&O Maritime Group is a Danish-based supplier to the global maritime industry, manufacturing a range of quality products for leading shipping companies, shipyards and engine manufacturers through its companies Gertsen & Olufsen, Atlas Incinerators, Pres-Vac Engineering, Heco International, and now HJL.

The group is headquartered in Denmark with manufacturing in Denmark and China as well as licensed production in Korea.

By joining G&O, Hans Jensen Lubricators gains stronger financial muscles that enable further growth while allowing a continuous focus on R&D and the global expansion of the sales organization and service network.

Make a quick estimate of your cylinder lube oil savings and liner condition, using Hans Jensen Lubricators on your 2-stroke engines.
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