Greenergy, onw of the UK’s biggest suppliers of road fuels, has lined up a successor for its chief executive Andrew Owens, who after nearly 30 years in charge is to become non-executive chairman.

After an 18-month search and selection process, Christian Flach has joined Greenergy, and after an initial transition period he will become chief executive on September 1, with Owens becoming chairman. All other executive directors and senior managers will continue in their existing roles.

Flach joins from Marquard & Bahls, a German family-owned company that trades under several brands including Oiltanking and Mabanaft. With a career spanning over 25 years, Christian has held a range of leadership roles, heading several Marquard & Bahls business units and most recently as CEO of the group between 2011 and 2018, and brings considerable experience of the fuel infrastructure and fuel supply sectors.

Owens said: “After nearly three decades at Greenergy, and having secured new owners for the business in 2017, we began the process of finding a successor to enable me to step back from the day-to-day running of the business.

“Greenergy has great people working throughout the company and is led by a hugely capable and driven executive team. Christian brings additional strength and depth to the business and is the ideal candidate to work with the existing management team to lead our growth and international expansion in the years ahead.”

The board and shareholders of Greenergy issued a statement saying: “We would like to thank Andrew for his leadership and contribution to the success of the business. We have worked closely with Andrew over the last 18 months to find a suitable successor, to allow him to fulfil his long-stated preference to move to the role of chairman. We extend a warm welcome to Christian and look forward to working with both Andrew and Christian in their new roles.”

Flach said: “Greenergy has an amazing track-record, and is a company I have always admired. I very much look forward to working with Andrew and the rest of the team to take the company to the next stage of its development.”