Joint venture deal with Shell Aviation sees Topaz enter aviation fuel market

TOPAZ has entered the aviation fuel market following the signing of a joint venture deal with Shell Aviation.

The Irish-owned fuel company Topaz will buy 50% of Shell Aviation Ireland in a move that will create five jobs in Dublin.

Topaz director Dr Frank Bergin said the company sees good growth potential.

“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,” he said.

The new company will market aviation fuels to Irish airlines currently serviced by Shell Aviation. It will also provide fuel supply and refuelling services to Shell’s international customers at Irish airports. The deal remains subject to regulatory approval, which is expected in the coming weeks.

Vice-president Shell Aviation Sjoerd Post said: “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.

“We are excited about working in partnership with Topaz to leverage their strong local presence alongside Shell’s world-class expertise in airport operations and international sales and marketing capability.”

Meanwhile, Topaz chief executive Eddie O’Brien spoke at the UCD business breakfast in Dublin.

He said the decision to rebrand Topaz was based on economics and the belief that “anything is possible”.

Just over €50 million has been invested in Topaz, and it has around 1,600 employees and 300 service stations in Ireland. It has a market share of around 25%.

“Is it possible to develop a brand that will stretch from a great cup of coffee, a freshly made sandwich, to quality transport fuel, to your local home heat supplier . . . to whatever in the future?”

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