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NEWS - EUROPE Shell to add EV chargers at UK and Dutch stations Royal Dutch Shell is to install electric vehicle chargers throughout its fuel retailing network in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Dutch oil giant Shell joins other oil companies such as Total in the incorporation of EV charging points at its gas stations. John Abbott, Shell Director, told the Financial Times that sites located in dense, urban areas would be the first to be upgraded with EV charging technology. First installations are expected to begin before this summer. The fact that EV drivers will probably drink a coffee, or have something to eat while they wait for their car to be charged up was mentioned by Abbott as one of the main incentives of installing chargers. SPAR Launches New netherlands Express Store Sites SPAR Netherlands this month opened its first SPAR Express forecourt store in the Netherlands with the launch of additional stores now in the planning. To develop its network of SPAR Express forecourt stores, SPAR Netherlands has entered into an agreement with EFR, the operating company of Texaco service stations. The SPAR Express format has been in operation in a number of other SPAR countries for many years now. While suitable for a variety of high-footfall locations like railway stations, airports and city centres, for the time being SPAR Netherlands has chosen to only develop the SPAR Express format at service stations. Following the initial launch two additional SPAR Express stores were opened recently in the Netherlands, one in The Hague and another in Amstelveen, close to Amsterdam. The product range for each store will be adapted to the location and needs of local residents. Each store’s range will also feature car related products such as engine oil and washer fluid. “The new SPAR Express stores are going to be grocery stores where you can also fill up the car and not the other way round”, said SPAR Netherlands Commercial Director, Susanne Kroon. MRH buys SPRING PETROLEUM Leading British fuel retailer MRH has continued the expansion of its petrol station network with the acquisition of Spring Petroleum. MRH, one of the UK´s largest independent service station owners and operators, will add 27 fuel stations to its portfolio, following the acquisition. In 2004, MRH acquired the operations of Kuwait Petroleum GB followed by large acquisitions from Texaco, BP and Esso. MRH now has over 450 company owned service stations in its extensive portfolio the majority of which are branded under Esso and BP. The group is also working to grow its fast food offer with a number of branded partners including high street giants Costa Coffee and Subway. SHELL OPENS ITS FIRST UK HYDROGEN REFUELLING STATION Oil giant Shell on the 22 February launched its first fully-branded hydrogen refuelling station in the UK, with plans already in place to open two more stations in 2017. Following the success of similar openings in the US and Germany, Shell has introduced its first branded UK hydrogen refuelling station at the Cobham service station on the M25. The station has been supplied by ITM Power. Shell’s VP of Future Fuels Matthew Tipper said: “Hydrogen has the potential to become a clean and versatile transport fuel for the future, and the Cobham hydrogen site is one of the ways Shell is encouraging the use of alternative fuels to contribute to the energy transition. This will provide customers with hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles the ability to refuel simply and quickly.” Shell hopes the introduction of its refuelling station will help overcome the “chicken and egg situation” of hydrogen mobility. Purchases of fuel cell vehicles suffer from a lack of surrounding infrastructure to support them, but investment into infrastructure will only become viable if there is a large customer base for the vehicle. Fortunately, the future of hydrogen mobility looks promising. Fuel cell industry shipments grew by twothirds in 2016 with transport-related fuel-cell capacity doubling to 280MW. TOPAZ & MCDONALDS CREATE OVER 200 NEW JOBS IN IRELAND Topaz and McDonalds are to create 230 new jobs through the opening of 2 new Motorway Service Areas in Carlow and Fermoy, Ireland. Moreover a total of 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase of both developments. The Fermoy development is expected to be open in autumn 2017 while Topaz Junction 5, M9, Co. Carlow is due to open in March 2017. The total investment for both the developments is €16 million, in which McDonald’s has contributed €2 million. The service areas will feature a robust and varied retail and food court offering, to include Topaz’s renowned healthy ‘food on the go’ offer - Re.Store, Mexican offering Cantina, a McDonald’s and self-service customer refreshment facilities. There will be over 140 parking spaces at each station, to include generous truck parking, coach parking, and secure ADR parking. erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd. 7


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