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. There are 1,700 Essar-branded retail outlets in India.

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 this 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 over the coming months and are looking to talk with potential new dealers to see how we can work together to further develop their businesses.”

Shane Thakrar, chief executive at HKS Holdings, said: “We have been talking to them about doing something in the retail space for quite some time.”

He added: “We liked what they had to offer and their strategy for growth, and the fact they would put the right resources behind a new brand.

“We are just doing the one site for now and seeing how it goes. It was previously a Jet site. It’s no reflection on Jet, but the tie came to an end and it gave us the opportunity to try something new. It was just a matter of timing.”

The site opened on November 11 with a two-day offer of 99.9ppl for petrol and diesel. Shane said: “We wanted to draw customers in, and then we could let them know Essar fuel comes from a UK refinery and it’s the same quality as they would get on any other forecourt.”