USGC: Ethanol Summit of Asia Pacific held in Minneapolis

By Erin Voegele | May 30, 2018

Industry and government officials from 17 countries in Asia and Oceania met in Minneapolis the week of May 21 to take part in the Ethanol Summit of the Asia Pacific, an event sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association.

The event focused on current and future prospects for expanded ethanol use throughout the region. It also highlighted the use of ethanol in transportation fuels to help meet challenges, including improving air quality, upgrading the current fuel supply and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“We know we can produce the cheapest, cleanest octane in the world,” said Jim Galvin, CEO and director of Lakeview Energy, who was the event’s keynote speaker and is the leader of the Council’s Ethanol Advisory Team. “We need to collaborate and we need to deliver on the potential of our industry.”

The Summit encouraged senior-level officials and industry leaders to find ways to expand the global use of ethanol while developing policies with a role for trade. The two-day conference included views and analysis on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation ethanol road map, which consists of best practices for developing an ethanol industry; the USDA’s perspective on ethanol policy, trade and collaboration; ethanol case studies from Vietnam and the Philippines; ethanol research in Japan; and the development of ethanol policy and use in China.

The summit was bookended by a pre-tour of ethanol plants in Minnesota and post-tours that took four teams of producers, traders, government officials and business people to Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin for an on-the-ground experience that included stops at gas stations, feedlots, farms and additional ethanol plants.

“We appreciate our state partners hosting these important groups of high-level officials from Asia so they have a better understanding of our ethanol story in the U.S.,” said Deb Keller, U.S. Grains Council chairman and Iowa farmer. “Allowing these representatives to see the entire ethanol value chain—from farmers to industry—will give them a clearer idea of how ethanol contributes meaningfully to the environmental, human health and economics benefits of those who use them.”

A team including participants from China, Korea and Taiwan visited Iowa; a team including participants from India, Bangladesh and the Philippines visited Kansas; a team with participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam visited Nebraska; and a team with participants from Australia, Myanmar, Pakistan and New Zealand visited Wisconsin.

“The U.S. Grains Council has been working with many of our Asian partners for years, and while there are occasional trade hurdles to surpass, each understands how important open and ongoing trade efforts are, especially regarding ethanol,” Keller continued. “We appreciate just how helpful our Asian partners are in developing the ethanol markets in this region of the world.”