Essar's aggressive UK expansion in retail fuel

Vol 19, PW 14 (24 Mar 16) Midstream & Downstream

Essar Oil is planning to aggressively expand its petrol pump network in the UK, adding 10 more stations by the end of 2016 to the four it has set up since November 2015.

"Our target in the next five years," says a senior Essar UK source, speaking to PETROWATCH from London, "is to set up as many as 400 petrol pumps in the UK." Most recently Essar opened a station at Sale in Cheshire on March 7; the company launched itself into the UK fuel retail market on November 11, 2015 with a station at Coalville in Leicestershire in association with Leicester-based HKS Retail, which has been operating fuel retail stations in the area since 1984. In January 2016, Essar opened two more pumps: one at Walkden in Manchester in association with S&S Station and the other at Middleton in Lancashire in partnership with the Casson family who have owned and operated the site for 60 years.

All four stations bear the Essar logo emblazoned on banners and signs. Essar's spacious forecourts stand out with their sharp orange, red and white colour schemes.

Essar, which took control of the 12m t/y Stanlow refinery near Liverpool from Shell in 2011 under a $1.3bn deal, today meets 16% of the UK's transport fuel demand annually producing 3bn litres petrol, 3.5bn litres diesel and 2bn litres jet fuel.