Two further forecourt sites have transferred to the Essar brand following its debut in November at a site owned by Top 50 Indie HKS at Coalville in Leicestershire.

Both are nearer the oil company’s Stanlow Refinery in Cheshire. The second site was launched in association with S & S Station Limited at Walkden in Manchester, and the third site, at Middleton in Lancashire, was opened in association with the Casson family.

The site is operated by three generations of the family which has owned the site for almost 60 years.

Commenting at the opening, SB Prasad, chief commercial officer, retail, at Essar Oil UK, said: “The Essar Retail brand is being well accepted and we hope to add many more stations in the coming months.”

Essar Oil UK has just released its third quarter results and says it had its strongest ever performance over a nine-month period.

In the nine months to December 31, 2015, Stanlow, which produces about 15% of the UK’s road transport fuel demand, processed 6.77 million metric tons (MMT) of crude, a 7% increase on the previous year’s 6.35 MMT.

Gross revenues for the period stood at $4,041m, a 35% drop compared with the $6,257m reported last year, largely due to the lower crude oil price which fell 52% year-on-year average.

However, Essar Oil UK reported its best ever current price hydrocarbon margin (CP HCM) at $10.1 per barrel, a 20% increase compared with the $8.4 per barrel reported the previous year, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) was a record $304m for a nine-month period, against $126.7m reported for the same period in the previous year.

Essar Oil UK executive chairman, Naresh Nayyar, commented: “This is a strong performance which reflected the many margin improvement projects undertaken by Essar at Stanlow. We are seeing the benefits of running as a single train optimised site, with robust operational delivery enabling us to take advantage of a supportive market environment.

I am also pleased to see our entry to the UK retail market with Essar branded service stations and look forward to substantially more sites opening over the next few years.”

• For more about Essar’s move into branded forecourts see the February issue of Forecourt Trader published on February 1.