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NEWS – EUROPE 5 Croatia raises fuel taxes Croatian authorities raised the excise duties for petrol last month in order to obtain resources for future investment. The government projects the new duties, also imposed on tobacco, will bring in some US $84 million annually Petrogas going public Irish fuel group Petrogas is targeting an initial public offering of its Applegreen service station business in June, according to a report published in ‘The Irish Times’. Petrogas Limited is an Irish company that operates a number of filling stations  in Ireland and the United Kingdom as well as a small number of stand alone convenience store and Food Courts. Petrogas. is Ireland’s largest Irish independent forecourt retailer with 90 service stations in Ireland, 42 in the UK and 2 in the US. Lukoil and Amic Energy are set to conclude business in Ukraine Lukoil Europe Holdings BV and Amic Energy Management from Austria, have closed the sale of 240 filling stations, as agreed earlier in the summer of 2014. The completion of the deal became possible after the Antitrust Committee of Ukraine had issued a relevant permit. According to the sales and purchase agreement, Lukoil-Ukraine CFI will be renamed as AMIC-Ukraine CFI. The purchase also includes six petroleum tank farms in Ukraine. PKN Orlen to buy more fuel stations According to PKN Orlen’s CEO and CFO, the company is specifically interested in Germany and the Czech Republic. Other regions are possible but prices would still need to come down more, they said. The state-run refiner also said it is planning further production asset takeovers in Canada and also in other countries, to take advantage of falling oil prices, but is still waiting for asset valuations to come down. Good first quarter for Total Despite volatile crude oil prices, France-based Total says it has managed to increase sales as well as its activity in services within the last year. According to a statement by Total, the marketing and services segment increased by 23% compared with the first quarter of 2014 mainly due to an increase in sales and a positive accounting effect from hedging. “Against a backdrop of lower prices, Total’s first quarter results include a number of significant accomplishments in all segments,” announced Total’s Board of Directors recently. Repsol and government of Cataluña jointly promote LPG Aut hor it ies from Spa n ish oi l compa ny Repsol and the government of the Cataluña region have agreed to promote the use of L PG. T he Cat a lu ña aut hor it ies have agreed to consider and include LPG use in any program carried out to diversify fuel consumption, while Repsol will install ten LPG service stations, adding to the 63 already in place. The Cataluña reg ion accou nts for about one f ift h of a l l t he LPG stat ions ex ist ing in Spa in. Italian unions sign with Q8 Italian unions and fuel retail labour organizations such as Faib, Fegica and Figisc and Kuwaiti oil company Q8, recently signed an accord over a renewal of their collective agreements. According to a report, the oil company is making investments in the Italian market and consolidating its network following the acquisition of the Shell brand. The federations, in conclusion, are aware that in the network remain many problems, but have added internal regulations which operators of the brand Q8 can use to operate and defend their rights,” the statement said. UK site closures have levelled out The latest Retail Marketing Survey, conducted by the Energy Institute (EI) indicates that the trend for forecourt closures in the UK has flattened out. According to the report the total number of forecourts in the UK at the end of 2014 was 8,609 sites, broadly in line with the 2013 figure of 8,611. This follows a 20-year period with a dramatic reduction in numbers of forecourts, almost halving the number that was in existence in 1994. Car wash association in Italy elects new Chairman An association for the car wash business in Italy, unanimously chose in Pino Sperduto. The election took place on last month in a session where participants also discussed issues affecting the industry in Italy. According to the report issued by the association, there are an estimated 13,500 car wash locations in Italy and the group noted that car wash business has contracted in Italy about 30% in recent years.


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