Essar signs fuel deal with Liverpool Airport

Major new agreement sees Stanlow refinery operator Essar Oil UK supplying jet fuel directly to airlines at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Airport
John Irving, CEO of Liverpool Airport, left, with Adam Brayne of Essar

 

Oil business Essar Oil UK will supply jet fuel directly to airlines at Liverpool John Lennon in a major new agreement.

Stanlow oil refinery close to the River Mersey at Ellesmere Port has been supplying the airport since the 1930s. However, previous agreements had seen fuel supplied via third-party suppliers.

This new deal will see Essar supply airlines at Liverpool such as Lufthansa, easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air directly.

Essar acquired the Stanlow refinery from Shell in 2011. Now employing more than 900 people, it provides 16% of all UK road fuels. It also supplies jet fuel to a number of airports across the UK. They include Manchester, Birmingham, and London Stansted.

This new access agreement with Liverpool Airport will allow Essar to supply fuel directly to airlines at the wingtip. It marks another step in Essar’s growing aviation fuels business, as air travel continues to recover from the pandemic. Essar is now in discussions with other potential aviation customers.

For the airport this will shore up its domestic fuel supply, reducing reliance on global supply chains and imports. Essar is also developing plans to produce and supply “sustainable” jet fuel from Stanlow to airports across the UK from 2026.

The deal follows the news that Essar’s domestic sales volumes have risen to a new high since COVID restrictions were lifted. This has come as a relief to the company which endured a torrid time during the pandemic as demand plummeted.

This led EOUK to seek a number of sources of funding to shore up its balance sheet. In March LBN reported that the firm had suffered a pre-tax loss of £168m for the year to September 30, 2021. This was its second consecutive annual loss. Over the past year or so it has raised around £800m of extra capital.

In early July it reported quarterly revenues were up 83% to £3.11bn. Essar said sales volumes in April, May and June were up 10% year-on-year to 1.72m tonnes.

Adam Brayne, head of aviation and business development at EOUK, said: “Essar’s Stanlow refinery has manufactured aviation fuels which have been supplied to Liverpool Airport since the 1930s.

“It therefore seems only fitting that, after close to a century of collaboration and shared history, Essar and Liverpool John Lennon Airport should further strengthen such a key North West regional partnership.”

John Irving, chief executive of Liverpool Airport, added: “The airport has a long-standing relationship with the Stanlow refinery which has been further strengthened with Essar joining us in our open access fuel operations.

“The airport has had a successful year in attracting new airlines including Lufthansa and PLAY which have established new routes. This agreement provides more fuel choice for our commercial airline partners.”

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