Policy, Production, Potential

FROM THE AUGUST ISSUE: A recap the events at the 2018 FEW in Omaha, Nebraska, including an opening speech from Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor; panels focused on efficiency, compliance, finance and more; and a tour of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy
By Lisa Gibson | July 13, 2018

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor opened the 34th Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo June 12 in Omaha, Nebraska, with a keynote address that discussed the ethanol industry’s battles ahead and the scars from its past victories. “With your help, we can tear down the roadblocks in our way and propel this industry forward on a scale our opponents will never see coming. … Winning yesterday’s victories has not been easy. And we’ve got the scars to show it.

“The battles ahead are tougher,” Skor told her audience. “They’re higher-stakes and we need to remind ourselves that we can win.”

Skor touched on Reid vapor pressure relief, battles involving the Renewable Fuel Standard and opening more global markets. “RVP relief could put us on course for an additional 1.3 billion (gallons of) ethanol demand in the next five years.” That figure is not “pie in the sky,” she noted. “It’s a reflection of the E15 market that we’ve created.”

Ethanol’s critics are more active than ever, Skor said. “Not because we are weak, but because we are strong.”

This year’s FEW attracted 2,250 attendees and 350 exhibitors. It featured the first Efficient Ethanol Production Seminar preconference June 11, alongside the traditional Ethanol 101 preconference. Together, the two drew about 130 attendees. The event was again colocated with the Advanced Biofuels Conference. Panels during the breakout sessions focused on all things ethanol, including efficiency, compliance, coproducts, finance and more. It was the first year the event has been held in Omaha, a city BBI International President Tom Bryan noted in his welcome address is in the heart of the ethanol industry.

A tour of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy capped the show, featuring the Council Bluffs plant’s production process and innovations.

Here are some highlights from the event.