Topaz, the country’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, is expanding into the aviation fuel sector, after agreeing a joint venture deal with Shell Aviation. The deal will see Topaz, the fully Irish owned and managed company, buy 50% of Shell Aviation Ireland to create a 50:50 joint venture that will sell aviation fuel in Ireland.
Dr Frank Bergin, director, chief operations officer at Topaz, says: “We are delighted to be expanding into aviation fuels marketing and see good growth potential in this sector. This venture will create additional jobs in Dublin and drive an Irish focus to the business. It is a modest beginning but we are looking forward to developing our presence in this sector. While the aviation sector has had a challenging year we see the outlook improving markedly in the medium term.”
“Through entering this joint venture in Ireland, we can further strengthen both our aviation network in Europe and our competitive position as a global aviation fuels provider,” remarks Sjoerd Post, vice president of Shell Aviation.
The new company will continue to market aviation fuels to Irish airlines currently serviced by Shell Aviation. It will also provide fuel supply and refueling services to Shell’s international customers at Irish airports. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval.
Topaz employs 1,300 people and has 300 sites in the Republic and another 30 in Northern Ireland. Over 100 of the sites are company owned and operated while the remainder are operated by its dealer network. Topaz is also the leading supplier of home heating oil in the country, supplying home heating oil to more than 250,000 customers.