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Mexican fuel retailers observe Iowa’s ethanol industry 

Photo courtesy of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE)

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and U.S. Grains Council hosted Mexican fuel retailers in Iowa this week. Fuel retailers traveled across Iowa, observing the ethanol industry.

Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of ACE, says the mission not only highlighted similarities in fuel systems, but aimed to help pave the way for E-10 in Mexico.

“They not only looked at stations, but a pipeline terminal, blending facility, ethanol plant and convenience store. I think they got a good view of everything. They got a good tour of how ethanol is made and getting into the pipeline terminal (then) into stations. They seemed to be comfortable with what they saw. Hopefully that means we can cut some time off of making E10 a regular fuel in Mexico,” Lamberty said.

Mexico changed its fuel law in 2017 to allow up to an E-10 blend. Mexican fuel retailers jumped at this opportunity, and seemed eager to learn about new opportunities within this space. Lamberty discusses what it will take to get this market up and running in Mexico.

“First of all, we need to know who can sell ethanol in Mexico. We (also) need to understand their business structure. This is completely new. Three years ago, they were buying from Pemex, the national oil company. Pemex sent them gas when they wanted to and told them how much they were going to sell it for. In three years, they’ve had experience. Only two of them where they could do something about it and buy whoever they wanted to and put ethanol in their fuel.”

Lamberty adds, “Credible retailers would help pave the way for ethanol in Mexico.”

“The idea is to have Mexican retailers selling E-10, (and) having some experience. The way our organization promoted ethanol was by having people out there, selling ethanol in their stations and telling others about it. That’s the way we moved E-15 and E-85. People who are selling those products are more credible spokespersons.”

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