Two new brands have entered the UK forecourt market and are looking to recruit more independent retailers. The first

newcomer is FCL Petroleum, which offers standard fuels as well as a range of biofuels under the Prio and PrioBio brand.

The Birmingham-based company recently started supplying fuel to its first UK sites - an independent retailer in the south east of England with five forecourts which prefers not to be named - after signing an agreement with refiner Petrochem Carless.

The company’s managing director Colin Walker said the move gave the UK market its first secure, guaranteed source of high-quality advanced fuels using pre-blended biodiesel made from fully-sustainable sources and offering optimal fuel-efficiency.

Portugal-based company Martifer handles the process from growing feedstock such as primary rapeseed to processing and refining at its two facilities in Portugal and Romania which FCL says have a combined production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year. This is then shipped by FCL’s sister company FCL UK to Harwich, where blending takes place in Petrochem Carless’s refinery. Blends of B5 to B50 can be produced to specific client requirements.

The PrioBio brand of advanced fuels is already well established in Portugal, where it is supplied to major names including Arriva, according to FCL. Walker added: "While many current suppliers of these products simply purchase from variable sources and distribute, we are able to guarantee the source and thus the high quality and sustainability of our products. Furthermore, as we are uniquely operating from two refineries, we can guarantee volume and continuity of supply." Retailers need to enter into an exclusive contract with FCL for at least one year.

Meanwhile, the Solo brand was launched last month by Northern Irish firm Solo Petroleum with the rebranding of three forecourts - two in Cookstown and one in Coleraine. The company is looking to expand, initially in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Solo Petroleum has been started by Cookstown entrepreneur Andrew Hutchinson, who has 20 years’ experience in the heating oils sector. Hutchinson said: "Solo represents a fresh new approach to forecourt retailing. We offer independent traders the unique opportunity to purchase a reliable, high quality product range at competitive prices and sell under the Solo brand. Our business philosophy is to offer a flexible working relationship with our partners, adapting to each individual forecourt’s business requirements."

There are seven more sites in the rebranding process and Solo tankers distribute fuel daily. Again, all contracts are exclusive and the company supplies unleaded, super unleaded, diesel and lubes.

Retailers should contact the companies directly:

FCL: 0121 555 1040

AH Fuels: 02886 762447.