USGC: Workshop in Korea offers background on ethanol as fuel

By U.S. Grains Council | June 22, 2016

The U.S. Grains Council and its domestic industry partners, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, have had a busy year so far engaging with potential global customers of U.S. ethanol, including at a workshop held last week in Seoul, Korea.

The workshop was hosted by the FAS in Seoul and the Council to give an outlook on global ethanol supply and demand; offer information about past experience with ethanol policy; and provide a forum for discussion about the merits of using ethanol versus gasoline.

Korea currently only uses ethanol for industrial, not fuel, purposes, and the audience at the recent event had little background with blending. The country consumes about 3 billion gallons of gasoline per year, more than any market in Asia other than China, India and Japan.

“With more than 60 representatives from Korea’s energy industry in attendance, we laid the groundwork to create a favorable atmosphere for the introduction of bioethanol in Korea in the future,” said USGC Director in Korea Haksoo Kim, who participated in the conference. “While this workshop was just step one, the engaged questions and interested audience suggest we are making a difference.”

Following the workshop, the group held meetings with Korea’s energy association, K-Petro, and the largest non-fuel ethanol company in Korea, Changhae Ethanol, to discuss experiences and technologies from the U.S. fuel ethanol industry.

“Based on the feedback we received from this activity, we believe that the energy industry in Korea wants to cooperate with us to learn more about fuel ethanol and possibly develop Korea’s fuel ethanol industry in the future,” Kim said. “To build on our success from this workshop, we will work on developing a follow-up program for late this year or early next year.”

Korea is just one market in which the U.S. ethanol industry partners are engaged. To continue to review the world’s need for fuel ethanol, the Council and its partners will travel to Colombia later this month to examine that country’s potential needs and issues that are important to the local ethanol industry. Programs are also ongoing in Mexico, China, India, Japan, Peru and the Philippines, with more to come in 2017.

Click here to read past Global Update articles on ethanol export promotion.