Nebraska Ethanol Board to hold E15 workshop on Feb. 20

By Nebraska Ethanol Board | February 13, 2020

Dan O’Neill, president and CEO of Kwik Stop Convenience Stores, is adding blender pumps for E15, E30 and E85 at five Kwik Stop locations after attending a Nebraska Ethanol Board E15 Retailer Workshop. According to NEB, O’Neill is one of many attendees who have given positive feedback and plan to start selling E15. The third workshop is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 20 at Hyatt Place in downtown Lincoln.

“Since January 2019, we’re aware of more than 30 new E15 locations in Nebraska, bringing the total to more than 85 in the state,” said Roger Berry, NEB administrator. “And that number is quickly growing. It is very encouraging and it shows that retailers are seeing the value in adding E15. We’re hosting these free workshops to make the process even easier. Our speakers present but also answer questions about regulations, share the hiccups they may have faced, and talk about grants to make implementation more affordable.”

Robert White, vice president of industry relations with the Renewable Fuels Association, will deliver the keynote address at the Feb. 20 workshop. According to RFA, enough E15 was sold in 2019 to fuel nearly 650,000 vehicles for the entire year. RFA noted there are many reasons for continued optimism, including the USDA’s new Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program that is in the works, and the administration has committed to streamline E15 labeling and reduce other barriers.

Some retailers have been reluctant to retrofit their pumps for E15 because of misconceptions about cost and installation.

“Many gas stations can begin to sell E15 with very little investment in their current infrastructure,” Berry said. “That’s why we are holding this complimentary workshop to debunk the myths and allow retailers to hear firsthand from others who’ve gone through the process.”

The installation depends on everyone’s unique circumstances, but it can be as simple as a quick switch, Berry added.

“If a pre-blended E15 is available at the rack where the fuel retailer sources their fuel, they can often times replace one of their current choices, such as an 89-octane mid-grade that they generally sell less of, with very little to no investment. The retailer does not have to install the more expensive blender pumps in order to sell E15.”

Additionally, some of the cost burdens can be relieved through various grant programs that award qualifying retailers money for equipment and infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol fuel

To see the full agenda and to register, visit ethanol.nebraska.gov.

The workshop is free thanks to the event sponsors: Midwest Petroleum Equipment, Nebraska Corn Board, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, Nebraska Fuel Retailers Association, and the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Light snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the afternoon.

Recent stats from Growth Energy report there are 2,081 retail locations in 30 states offering E15. The increase in E15 sales will provide an additional value-added market for Nebraska farmers and ethanol plants who experienced a challenging last year.