E15 not a solution to the blend wall: US Valero

23 July 2013 22:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Gasoline blended with 15% ethanol (E15) is not a practical solution to overcoming the blend wall, US Valero said on Tuesday.

There is too much uncertainty surrounding E15 for widespread adoption, said Bill Klesse, the chief executive of Valero, during an earning conference call on Tuesday.

“The EPA solution of going to E15 is not practical,” he said. “There are no facilities. Even the service station people are saying they don’t know about their tanks and lines. There are hardly any pumps and then there are the car warranties. I understand some of the 2013 car warranties saying it's okay, but there is a whole lot of cars out there besides those.”

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of E15 this year as a way to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires a certain amount of renewable fuel, like ethanol, to be blended into the gasoline pool.

But refiners have been reluctant to use E15 because it may be unsafe for certain engine types. That coupled with waning gasoline demand have created the “blend wall”.

“And then on top of all of this, gasoline demand has not continued to grow,” Klesse said. “It's actually down. So the whole thing is screwed up and that's why I said ... [the RFS] needs to be redone.”

By: Bobbie Clark
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