Fuel ethanol workshop in US begins on “unified front”

28 June 2011 02:32  [Source: ICIS news]

The US still has a mandate that requires ethanol to be blended in gasolineINDIANAPOLIS (ICIS)--The 27th edition of the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) opened on Monday on an upbeat mood, the event’s organiser said, adding that a “unified front” behind ethanol was building in the industry.

The effort by ethanol makers to seek more unity comes as US lawmakers have signalled that government support for US ethanol could end in the coming months.

The US Senate voted in June to eliminate a tax credit that fuel blenders receive for mixing ethanol in gasoline, as well as a tariff that in recent years shielded US ethanol from foreign competition.

There will be changes, but the ethanol industry is bullish about the future, said BBI International chief executive Joe Bryan on the sidelines of the conference.

BBI owns and operates the event.

Bryan does not expect an end to subsidies to have a major impact on the industry, claiming that the US still has a mandate that requires ethanol to be blended in gasoline in large quantities.

But he conceded that some US ethanol makers will struggle without the blender credit, particularly those that were still carrying large amounts of debt, he said.

Bryan said some 500 ethanol producers were represented at this year’s FEW event at Indianapolis in Indiana, up from 400 last year when the conference was held at St Louis in Missouri.

The FEW event is expected to receive some 2,000 delegates from 46 US states, six Canadian provinces and 24 other countries, Bryan said.

The four-day event closes on Thursday.

For more on ethanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: William Lemos
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