Essar Oil UK has rebranded its first Shell site to company colours with the commissioning of Oundle Road service station in Thrapston, Kettering, in Northamptonshire.

It is the 54th site unveiled under the Essar Marque.

Run by dealer Karl Rashid and his family since they acquired the site in 2008, the station includes a Londis store, and has been Shell branded for the past 10 years.

In addition to Oundle Road, the Rashid family also own and run Frilford Service Station in Oxfordshire.

Karl Rashid explained his decision to link up with Essar: “I thought long and hard about moving from the Shell brand, with no shortage of offers from other suppliers. However, I was very impressed by the way Essar approached the negotiations, and the fresh new look the branding has given my site is fantastic.

“We have had a really positive response from our customers, who love the new look and are welcoming the fact that, thanks to the competitive offer from Essar, our pole sign price now is considerably lower.  The move is really going to enable me to build the business.

“These are changing times for roadside retail and I think it is important to be a part of a company who you know have a firm stake in managing future fuels developments, and have control over their supply chain. The investments made to the Stanlow Refinery are impressive and instill a lot of confidence in the Essar brand.”

Essar’s territory manager Sam Edwards commented: “I am delighted to welcome Karl to the Essar family. These are exciting times for us, with a healthy number of other stations due to be opened under our brand by the end of November.”