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English Español Mexican fuel retailers tour US ethanol industry

ACE, IRFA hosted a series of visits for Mexican retailers to show how the USA has grown its ethanol industry.



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Author: PetrolPlaza Correspondent Pablo Plaza

Fuel retailers from Mexico visited Iowa last week to get a first-hand view of the U.S.’s ethanol industry. The group toured a farm where corn is grown, an ethanol plant, a fuel terminal, and several retail stations, reports the Ethanol Producer Magazine.

The American Coalition of Ethanol (ACE), as well as the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association AIRFA) and the U.S. Grains Council have been responsible for the organisation. Prior to this tout, ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty organised several worlshops in Mexico to show the benefits of ethanol to retailers in that country.

“Their stations are very similar to ours,” Lamberty said about the fuelling sites he visited in Mexico. “And while I’ve done 11 or 12 workshops, there’s still a little hesitation to go to a new product until you’re pretty sure it’ll work. We thought this would shorten that learning curve dramatically by having people stand in a station.”

The tour in the United States served a double purpose, according to Lambery: firstly, it showed Mexican retailers has universal E10 has become in US; secondly, they had the opportunity to visit several types of fuelling stations, convenience stores and stand-alone pump locations. “Where it’s a card lock, type of pump, people pull up and use their credit card. That I think is something that is maybe more realistic for a lot of their [Mexico’s] locations,” Lamberty said.

Following the tour, Lamberty expressed that much of the concerns that ethanol arises in Mexico are now clarified and it is only a matter of time to develop the logistics needed to import US ethanol to Mexico. “Any doubts they had will hopefully be erased and now our job is to make sure that we hook up the suppliers with the people who want to buy the fuel and get it rolling,” he said.

“I think we built up their confidence. Some of them are looking very strongly at putting in ethanol. They realize the value back to their customers, because it’s going to be a lower cost fuel, but also it’s going to help with the severe air pollution in Mexico by providing a cleaner burning fuel to their customers” added Lucy Norton, managing director of the IRFA.

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