Mersey oil giant plans UK retail expansion

EET Fuels operates the huge Stanlow oil refinery close to the River Mersey and has unveiled a strategy to expand its current 70-strong network of retail outlets in the next three years. Tony McDonough reports

Essar retail
EET Fuels is to grow the number of Essar-branded fuel stations across the UK


Stanlow oil refinery owner and operator EET Fuels is to roll out an expansion of its UK retail network over the next three years.

Until this year, EET Fuels was known as Essar Oil UK and is a division of the Indian conglomerate Essar Group, which bought the Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port from Shell in 2011.

Employing around 750 people directly, the refinery close to the River Mersey provides 16% of all UK road transport fuels and each year produces 4.4bn litres of diesel, 3bn litres of petrol and 2bn litres of jet fuel. It generates annual revenues of more than £9bn.

Over the past few years it has steadily been growing its UK network of petrol stations with retail outlets which are Essar branded. Now its EET Retail division has appointed a new chief executive and has laid out an expansion strategy.

Narayan Bhatra, who is taking on the CEO role, was previously chief retail officer at Nayara Energy, India’s second largest oil and gas company and that country’s fastest growing private fuel station network.

He brings more than three decades of experience in the energy sector including management roles with Essar and Reliance Industries across India and Africa.

EET Retail has unveiled plans to develop a “significant” portfolio of Essar-branded fuel retail outlets within three years as part of its vision to become the UK’s “retailer of choice to consumers”. It currently operates 70 outlets.

Its long-term strategy includes offering a range of low-carbon fuels including serving the needs of drivers preferring e-mobility. These fuels will be offered in an environment that has a tailored selection of customer offerings, including non-fuel options.

Narayan said: “I am excited to be joining EET Retail now. It has a clear and very ambitious vision for growth, as well as the potential to create a truly market leading proposition for low carbon high quality fuels.”

In an in-depth report last week, LBN outlined how EET has ambitions to transform Stanlow into the first net zero refinery in the world.


Essar Oil UK
Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port. Picture by Tony McDonough


Stanlow will be home to a £3bn hub as part of the wider North West HyNet project. This will produce hydrogen by burning natural gas and capture and store the CO2 emissions under Liverpool Bay. The hydrogen will be supplied to North West industrial customers.

Deepak Maheshwari, chief executive of EET Fuels, added: “We are embarking on this exciting journey of growth and innovation in the retail sector in the UK and are confident in Narayan’s leadership.

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“EET Retail plans to deliver best in class fuel outlets, creating a network of partnerships that are focussed on Essar’s customer-first belief.

“Narayan’s appointment marks a significant milestone for EET, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead under his leadership.”

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