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strong criticism Applegreen’s oil storage facility in Dublin Port raises questions about regular price hikes

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Applegreen is the 50pc owner of a fuel terminal that can hold up to 90 million litres, understood to be about four weeks’ supply for filling stations. Photo: Gerard Hore

Applegreen is the 50pc owner of a fuel terminal that can hold up to 90 million litres, understood to be about four weeks’ supply for filling stations. Photo: Gerard Hore

Applegreen is the 50pc owner of a fuel terminal that can hold up to 90 million litres, understood to be about four weeks’ supply for filling stations. Photo: Gerard Hore

One of the largest petrol retailers has been accused of profiteering for pushing up prices on an almost daily basis despite jointly owning a massive oil storage facility at Dublin Port.

Applegreen is the 50pc owner of a fuel terminal that can hold up to 90 million litres, understood to be about four weeks’ supply for filling stations.

This means Applegreen retail outlets should not need to increase petrol and diesel prices so often.

It should help insulate Applegreen outlets better from price rises, but motorists have accused Applegreen and other petrol retailers of increasing prices on a daily basis since the Russian invasion of Ukraine more than two weeks ago.

Canadian-owned Circle K, which has 360 locations in the Republic, has also come in for strong criticism, with some calling for a boycott of its outlets.

Circle K denies fuel prices were raised ahead of the excise duty cut.

The fact that Applegreen is the joint owner – with Valero – of one of the largest oil storage facilities in the State has raised questions about its outlets raising prices so often at the moment.

Having such a large fuel terminal should mean far more infrequent price rises at the pumps, according to chairman of the Consumers Association Michael Kilcoyne.

He accused Applegreen and other petrol retailers of “profiteering”.

Applegreen denied it was profiteering. It acknowledged it is the part-owner of what it calls the “joint fuels terminal” in Dublin Port.

But “we do not operate the facility and do not own stock contents within the terminal”.

A number of other major forecourt operators, as well as smaller non-forecourt operators, also source their fuel from the terminal, it said.

“Applegreen purchases fuel on a daily basis, from many terminals across the island, including from the joint fuels terminal in Dublin Port.

“The price of these purchases is set by international energy markets and also influenced by foreign exchange rates.”

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These prices change on a daily basis, based on movements within the international energy markets, Applegreen said.

“The prices that our customers are paying at the pumps reflect the current prices set by international markets. The cost price of fuel has moved rapidly over the past week and at a scale not seen for over a decade.”

It comes after Taoiseach Micheál Martin said reports of price gouging at petrol stations were “morally reprehensible”.

AA Ireland reported that filling station prices have begun to fall. Crude prices have come down, but others said petrol retailers may be reacting to accusations of price gouging by cutting their prices.

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