Syngenta extends donation commitment to Prime the Pump Fund

By Holly Jessen | June 19, 2015

MINNETONKA, Minn.Syngenta announced June 19 that it will donate approximately $600,000 to the Prime the Pump Fund. Prime the Pump is an ethanol industry initiative created to help the early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends by awarding grants to reduce their initial investment in infrastructure.

The Syngenta donation is part of a commitment initiated in 2013 to contribute $1 to the ethanol industry for every acre planted with trademarked Enogen corn enzyme technology – and is being extended through 2016.

“For our industry to enjoy sustainable success, there needs to be an increase in ethanol demand,” said Ray Defenbaugh, chairman, Prime the Pump Fund. “As the ethanol blend wall has dramatically slowed demand, many steps have been taken to increase ethanol’s availability in the U.S. market. Most notable was when the EPA allowed the use of gasoline blends containing as much as 15 percent ethanol in vehicle models from 2001 and newer. But the approval of E15 was just the first step.

“That’s why the Prime the Pump Fund was formed. The Syngenta dollar-per-acre donation supports our strategy of aiding high-volume, progressive-minded, industry-leading fuel retailers, who will demonstrate the performance, cost savings and profit opportunity of marketing higher ethanol blends, such as E15.”

Enogen is the industry’s only corn bioengineered specifically to enhance ethanol production. “Syngenta is pleased to continue its financial support of the ethanol industry,” said Jack Bernens, head of Enogen at Syngenta. “Last year, our dollar-per-acre donation to Growth Energy was used to make flex fuels more accessible and provide consumers with a choice at the gas pump. We are proud to build on that momentum this year with a $225,000 donation based on the Enogen acres planted in 2015 and we look forward to the additional contribution based on the 2016 Enogen planted acres.”

According to Growth Energy, E15 is approved for all vehicles model year 2001 and newer, which accounts for more than 80 percent of all vehicles on the road. And, nearly 20 million vehicles are approved for any blend of ethanol up to 85 percent ethanol. Helping the industry expand its flex-fuel-pump footprint will enable consumers to have a choice to purchase a superior, higher octane fuel and pay less. 

“Clearly, we have the vehicles capable of using blends higher than E10, but consumers need greater access to stations capable of providing it.” Bernens added. “Efforts like Prime the Pump will help make that access a reality. The widespread availability of flex-fuel vehicles – as well as those eligible to use E15 – demonstrates that there is a market ready for a less expensive, higher octane, more environmentally friendly alternative fuel.”

In addition to its dollar-per-acre initiative, Syngenta is also currently involved with Iowa FFA chapters in a collaborative effort to support Prime the Pump through a fundraising initiative at the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen.