The first Essar-branded forecourt in the UK has opened at a site owned by Top 50 Indie HKS at Coalville in Leicestershire, and Essar says it has many more planned across the country. Essar Oil (UK) is an arm of the Indian multinational conglomerate Essar Group and owns the Stanlow refinery at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

SB Prasad, chief commercial officer, retail at Essar Oil UK, commented: "This is a significant step forward and part of our plans to add value to our UK business. Stanlow has a real legacy in terms of refining expertise and a long record of reliable supply to customers, and we are now offering this directly on the forecourt in association with our dealers. We have worked hard to deliver a distinctive brand, competitive commercial offering and the best possible customer support.

"HKS Retail has worked with all the major retail brands, so this is a real sign of their confidence in Essar and we look forward to further strengthening the relationship."

Bryan Hayes, commercial business manager at Essar Oil UK, explained: "Essar has brought a very clear, honest and straightforward offer to dealers in the UK, supplying quality products from our Stanlow refinery at value prices. We aim to build our network quickly."