Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
Equipment » Tanks & pipework

Going underground

With all the talk (and hype) about electric vehicles, Edward Wheeler, group managing director at Eurotank, is concerned that there's a big risk that retailers will stop investing in their underground fuel systems, because they don't know what the future holds.

What's in the pipeline?

With so much technology being introduced on forecourts and in stores it could be easy for attention to waver from the tanks and pipework buried underground, but constantly ensuring they are in good condition is one of the most crucial tasks facing dealers. The fine of £8m imposed on Tesco last summer for a fuel leak at its Haslingden site, is a chilling reminder of the potential penalties if something goes wrong.

Skin deep

With most tanks and pipework buried underground it is tempting to just ignore them, but more and more dealers are taking a concerned interest in the health of their systems because the financial penalties if they fail can be fatal for a business. If any fuel leaks into the environment, firms can face unlimited fines and, at the very least, a huge bill and long closure while the mess is cleaned up. And with forecourt sites also becoming much sought-after real estate, any contamination will knock a huge amount off the value of the asset.

Tank to bank

Business is brisk in the tank sector with many dealers either re-lining existing tanks or investing in new ones, according to Phil Prow, sales and marketing director of Vianet Fuel Solutions

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 24 February 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East127.9462.00136.58124.72
East Midlands127.70137.72124.65
London128.12137.79125.20
North East125.92136.20122.89
North West126.8567.57135.95124.01
Northern Ireland124.76130.73121.98
Scotland126.97133.86123.39
South East128.6564.90139.38125.39
South West127.77135.04124.41
Wales126.67135.28123.28
West Midlands127.58140.14124.60
Yorkshire & Humber126.87137.50123.73

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Has the Government's shock announcement to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles - as well as hybrids - to 2035 or even earlier caused concern and disruption to your future forecourt development plans?

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