BP national distributor steers sight on stations

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL and MARY MANN

A MAJOR BP distributor and retailer is reported to have its sights set on acquiring the embattled Ballina Petroleum.

A spokesman from Reliance Petroleum, which operates more than 150 service stations across Australia, told Convenience World Magazine it is interested in Ballina Petroleum.

Ballina Petroleum, which runs 11 Northern Rivers BP stations, is still being investigated after it admitted in July to misleading the public by selling sub-standard Ultimate fuel.

Countless local motorists are said to have bought the fuel but police cannot act because it's under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Crime prevention officer Senior Constable Michael Hogan said local police could not investigate the matter because it was being handled by the ACCC.

"The ACCC may refer it to us, but until then the investigation is in their hands," he said.

BP has vowed to end supply contracts with Ballina Petroleum, appointing Reliance Petroleum to supply stations with Ultimate fuel until an alternative arrangement is found and legal issues are worked out.

Reliance Petroleum is now supplying Ultimate fuel at two BP stations in Lismore, two in Wollongbar, and stations in Wardell, North Ballina, West Ballina, Broadwater, Byron Bay, Goonellabah and Suffolk Park.

"The Ballina Petroleum acquisition would give economies of scale, including economies in buying, merchandising and promotion, which you cannot do in a smaller business," Reliance managing director John Clark allegedly said in Convenience World Magazine.

Meanwhile, Somerville Laundry Lomax Solicitors are still investigating the possibility of a class action against Ballina Petroleum.

For inclusion, call 6621 2481.



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