EET Retail, the retail division of EET Fuels, has announced the appointment of Narayan Bhatra as chief executive officer.

His appointment comes as EET Retail outlines its ambitions 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”.

Bhatra was previously chief retail officer at Nayara Energy, India’s second largest oil and gas company and its fastest growing private fuel station network. He has over three decades of experience in the energy sector including management roles with Essar and Reliance Industries across India and Africa.

As part of its plans for the UK, Essar wants to lease more sites from forecourt operators. It currently operates 70 sites here, 65 of which are run by dealers, with the remaining five leased from owners under an arrangement that it launched just over a year ago. It now wants to roll out that lease model at scale.

EET Retail wants to grow the Essar network across all regions and is also identifying opportunities for potential acquisitions to accelerate its growth.

In addition, EET Retail’s long-term strategy includes offering a range of low-carbon, high-quality fuels including serving the needs of EV drivers.

Bhatra commented: “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, given EET Fuels’ huge investment in its decarbonisation plans at Stanlow, as well as building a world-leading hydrogen production facility.”

Deepak Maheshwari, CEO of EET Fuels, said: “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. EET Retail plans to deliver best-in-class fuel outlets, creating a network of partnerships that are focused 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.”

EET Fuels forms part of EET, which is committed to playing a key role in the decarbonisation of the UK economy and has ambitious plans to build an energy transition park at its site in the North West and to become the UK’s first low carbon process refinery. This aligns with the UK government’s Ten Point Plan on the Green Industrial Revolution and with its British Energy Security Strategy.

Tony Fountain, managing director of EET, said: “EET Fuels is a key part of Essar Energy Transition and we are committed to maintaining a strong, secure manufacturing base for fuels in the North West and across the UK. Our approach provides our customers with the assurance of working with a partner that is committed to decarbonising our production processes, playing our part to ensure that the UK delivers on its climate change goals and enhancing energy security. I look forward to working with Narayan to share this industry-leading commitment with our retail customers.”