‘Serious structural issues’ in the retail road fuels market

Jet forecourtA report has found significant changes to the retail market for road fuels, including the increasing dominance of supermarket forecourts, but security of supply is apparently unaffected.  

The Deloitte Study, commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), also concluded that in the event of a total disruption to petrol and diesel supplies the retail sector holds up to eight days of fuel capacity to meet current demand.

The report showed that the overall number of forecourts in the UK has declined 6% in the last five years. This follows a trend of closures seen in the past 40 years from a peak of more than 37,500 in 1970, to less than 9000 in 2011.

But Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) chairman, Brian Madderson, said the report “fails to highlight the serious structural issues in the market”.

He continued: “Such issues were noted in the report yet DECC offer the dangerously misleading conclusion by stating ‘in the event of a total disruption to petrol and diesel supplies the retail sector holds up to eight days of fuel capacity to meet current demand.’

“Government must not ignore the clear warnings featured in the report by focusing solely on unproven contingency measures for the fuels supply chain rather than on essential onsite petrol filling station (PFS) storage. An overhaul of the Emergency Plan for Fuels is now imperative.”

Read more about the retail fuels market on page 13 of the January issue of Fuel Oil News

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