NEWS - EUROPE Total to open 200 natural gas stations in Europe French oil giant Total officially inaugurated its first natural gas fueling station in France, at Nantes this month and plans to open over 200 such outlets across Europe. The move is aimed at introducing natural gas fuel for trucks and transporters in France, said the company in a statement. Natural gas fuel is an alternative fuel primarily used by trucks and transporters of materials or goods, such as garbage trucks, and passengers, such as buses. As part of its expansion strategy for the European region, Total will open another 15 stations this year, followed by an additional 10 every year. The aim is to create a network of 110 outlets - either Total or AS24, the Group affiliate specialised in marketing fuel to truckers and transporters - supplying natural gas fuel in France, said the French oil giant in a statement. “As part of the energy transition, natural gas could become the fuel of the future for road transportation,” remarked Momar Nguer, the president, Total Marketing & Services. Total already has a network of 450 natural gas fueling stations worldwide. The group plans to open more than 200 natural gas fueling stations, including 110 in France. Its target market is the transportation sector in Europe, where it could leverage its existing network of more than 9,000 retail outlets. UK Drivers could be paid up to £2,000 to scrap diesels Lukoil could sell a third of its FUEL stations in Russia Russian oil company Lukoil, is considering selling a third of its petrol stations network in Russia due to the unfavourable economic situation.“We are seriously considering the possibility of selling up to a third of gas stations by the end of the year,” — a source in the company said. “Net profit of the gas business in Russia for the first quarter is close to zero. The first quarter is often not very good, but this year it is very unsuccessful. Currently, a yield amounts to around 8 rubles per ton compared to 2 thousand rubles per ton a year earlier,” the source specified.“We can compensate for this neither by an increase in gasoline prices, although the rise in 5 rubles per liter would help, nor by the development of non-fuel commodity groups at the gas stations,” he said. Lukoil currently enjoys a 21% market share with a network of 2,544 fuel stations. A source close to the matter said that Lukoil has already received three bids for the acquisition of the stations and will send offers to potential foreign investors in the near future. ”By the end of the year, Lukoil may decide on selling all gas stations in Russia. The company’s management was offered several options for selling the business,” the source said. Topaz invests 6 million euros in new fuel brand Miles Topaz, Ireland’s largest fuel and convenience brand, is investing €6 million in the roll-out of a new fuel brand, Miles, across its 430 Irish petrol stations. Miles is owned by Canadian group Alimentation Couche- Tard, which acquired Topaz in a deal which closed in February 2016. Couche-Tard has been introducing the Miles petrol and diesel brand at its stations across Europe in recent years. The €6m covers investment in new pumps and forecourt renovation and branding as well as advertising and marketing costs. Couche-Tard, which operates more than 15,000 outlets worldwide, paid €258m in cash to Denis O’Brien for Topaz as well as taking on debt in a transaction that was reported at the time to be worth in the region of €450m. Mr O’Brien had bought the debts of Topaz for €150m and paid a further €75m for Esso’s Irish assets just before the sale. Owners of older diesel cars could be paid to scrap them under UK government plans to tackle pollution. The diesel scrappage scheme would be part of a new strategy to improve air quality after Europe said UK proposals did not go far enough. The reports said ministers may opt for a scheme that pays drivers up to £2,000 towards a new, cleaner car. Under the proposed scheme cars registered before 2005 would be eligible for the scheme. However an estimated six million drivers with diesel cars registered after 2005 could miss out and be faced with a 40 percent fall in their vehicle’s value. Transport Minister John Hayes insisted that the poorest would be protected under the scheme and it would be means-tested. “The Government will not penalise those who are worse off,” he said. Under the proposed scheme diesel drivers face daily toxin charges, extra parking fees and an expected fuel tax hike. Diesel cars emit nitrogen oxides linked to lung conditions such as asthma, with older models said to be particularly polluting. The UK had almost 12,000 premature deaths linked to nitrogen dioxide in 2013, according to the European Environment Agency. That was the second highest total in Europe after Italy. There are about 11.2 million diesel cars on UK roads, 17% of which are more than 12 years old. Last year, the government was told to strengthen its plans to tackle pollution after a judicial review found its existing proposals to be “woefully inadequate”. It is also said to be considering new taxes on dirty vehicles, although Theresa May has said she did not want to punish drivers who have been encouraged to buy diesel cars by previous governments. A previous scheme in 2009/10 offered drivers cash payments of £1,000 to trade in their aging cars. This took almost 400,000 vehicles off UK roads. Introducing New Enabler Embedded Enabler Embedded is a next generation Forecourt Controller bringing together the ability to communicate with a wide range of forecourt devices, alongside linking to host systems over the Web. Designed as a compact appliance, it uses advanced SMT design and cableless construction throughout. Connection to pumps is by compact plug in Pump Distribution Modules providing multiple fueling positions. 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