Local forecourt and convenience retailer Maxol has begun work to expand and develop its Kinnegar Service Station in Holywood, Co Down.
The flagship development, which is part of a broader five-year investment programme, is trialling cutting-edge technology and innovation which will create the blueprint for forecourt developments across Maxol’s estate.
From the design and construction through to the site’s ongoing operations covering fuel, grocery and convenience, the guiding principle at Kinnegar is to use technology to create a measurably different service station reducing the site’s existing carbon footprint by up to 40%.
Initiatives being implemented in the redevelopment include the introduction of photovoltaic (solar) panels to reduce the site’s electrical import requirements; low energy CO2 refrigeration systems; exhaust air-heat pump technology to reduce heating loads; and an energy management system to monitor and control the overall energy usage on the site.
In a first for Northern Ireland, Maxol Kinnegar will deliver the first dedicated Electric Vehicle (EV) hub complete with four high-speed chargers servicing up to six vehicles at any one time. The EV hub will provide up to 200 kW in power, the highest charge currently available to the public in NI.
On the forecourt, Kinnegar will continue to service its large customer base with advanced fuels and parking facilities, which will more than double from the current 20 to 41, to ease the flow of traffic on site even during peak trading periods.
The development will see Kinnegar’s current retail space almost double in size. Customers can expect to find a much bigger range and greater choice of locally produced food including an expanded grocery offer, large, dedicated butchery section and extended fruit & veg, dairy and frozen food ranges.
A new Daily Deli will be introduced with a self-serve chicken bar and Maxol is installing three self-checkouts to handle the bulk of in-store transactions.
A double Barista Bar coffee offer will be enhanced with a new seating area where customers can relax in comfort, including while charging their EV.
"This is a significant development for us, and it marks an important step on our journey towards being a more sustainable business,” said Brian Donaldson, chief executive of The Maxol Group.
“We’re bringing together a range of technologies and innovations that will create a blueprint that we will apply across our network in larger type locations. This will deliver a positive change for our customers, the environment, and our industry.
"As well as progress on sustainability, I am delighted that we’re supporting the local community with the creation of 40 construction jobs during the development and up to 20 new jobs will be created in-store when the development is completed.
“This is the first dedicated EV hub in Northern Ireland and marks the start of Maxol developing the right infrastructure on its network of service stations to support the move to electric.
“We are also working hard to ensure that when the development is complete, our customers can shop locally for all their daily needs in a modern, vibrant, welcoming environment. It is exciting to bring something so transformational to the area, and I’m delighted that work is underway to make it happen.”
Mark McCammond, retail director of Henderson Retail, licensee for Maxol, said: “We’re thrilled to see the work underway that once complete will see our customers enjoy a premium offer both on the forecourt and in-store.
“The expansion of the site will be welcomed by so many who shop with us regularly and we look forward to seeing the development progress in the coming weeks.”
Construction of Maxol Kinnegar will conclude in time for a reopening in October.