Sioux Falls, SD – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) hosted a tour in conjunction with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in Iowa last week to show nine decision-makers from key Mexican retail and supplier groups how ethanol blends have been successfully and profitably incorporated across Iowa.
Tour leaders Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President, and Lucy Norton, IRFA Managing Director, said tour participants were engaged and clearly enthusiastic about the prospect of adding ethanol blends to their businesses.
“The week’s events exceeded our expectations,” Lamberty said. “We wanted this tour to end any lingering doubt these marketers might have about implementing ethanol blends in Mexico. After seeing stations and equipment just like theirs being used to sell E10, and hearing station operators say they’ve sold ethanol profitably for decades without any issues, some who attended plan to do tests in the next several months, and when those tests go well, we’ll encourage those marketers to share their success stories with peers in Mexico, as ACE has done to develop markets in the U.S.”
“We see this trip as just the beginning of a long relationship that leads to a new ethanol market in Mexico,” Norton said. “We were fortunate to have such an influential group participate that represented about 500 million gallons of fuel sales and distribution. IRFA was proud to showcase Iowa’s 40 years of success in marketing ethanol-blended fuels.”
Several tour attendees said they are ready for the many benefits ethanol can bring to Mexico, including lower-fuel costs, improved air quality, and quality fuel. Read testimonies from participants below.
“The entire tour has been a fabulous learning experience, even better than I expected,” said Agustín Tristán Aldave with Lexington Midstream, a midstream investor and provider. “What I was looking forward to the most was learning about the entire process from front to back, and it was incredible to see the innovation here in the U.S. I don’t see any reason why not to do [ethanol] it. Ethanol is cheaper and better for the environment, and these are important points to help differentiate yourself if you’re a retailer.”
“We need all the information we can to make a change in Mexico,” said Gerardo Cantú, Director of Petrorack, a fuel provider to the industrial market. “From the beginning of the first visit, the tour impressed me. I believe this is a good product for the customer and our country. We are short on gasoline and ethanol, so we need the supply from the U.S.”
“We understand the nature of the product and we see the benefits that it brings to the environment and to the consumer because of the lower price of the fuel,” said Fernando José Pereira Flick with Lodemo, one of the main retail service groups in Mexico, which operates the first private (non-PEMEX) marine terminal for fuels in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. Lodemo is evaluating adding infrastructure to import ethanol. “It’s something that we don’t need to test because it’s been proven by the U.S. fuel industry to be a quality product as we’ve seen on this tour. With the changes to the Mexican energy legislation, it has created an opportunity for the private sector.”
“We’ve seen the successful case for ethanol in Iowa and I’d like to see that in my country, helping the people in the field and having a very good gasoline like the one you have here that’s helpful to the environment,” said Blanca Estela Coeto Mateo with SIMSA, the largest supplier of fuel to PEMEX. “I’d like to see the Mexican government working together with all the people with one goal, and I will express that with the people in Mexico about the successful case you have in this country.”
Daniel Beltrán García, who works with Comborsa, an importer and distributor of fuels near the U.S./Mexico border said, “As a private company, we recognize the Mexican consumer needs a better, cleaner product, and why not at a more competitive price? So, that is what we have learned in Iowa in the sense that ethanol provides exactly that.” Another fuel marketer, Roberto Spinola De Leo with Hidrosina, which operates 30 service stations in Mexico City, where E10 is currently banned said, “We’re ready for ethanol depending on the regulation being authorized for that to happen. Our companies need to do our part in supporting [changes to] ethanol regulations because it’s good for us, the consumers, and the country.”