USGC hosts ethanol seminar for Malaysia fuel industry

By U.S. Grains Council | June 07, 2022

To introduce the concept of fuel ethanol in Malaysia and underscore the benefits importers can capture by including it in their import specifications, the U.S. Grains Council’s staff in Southeast Asia and Oceania (SEA&O) recently conducted a hybrid seminar with major Malaysian oil and gas procurement teams. Presenters at the event included Council staff, technical consultants and industry representatives.

The seminar produced colorful dialogues between attendees and expert presenters, particularly on the technical aspects and offerings of ethanol and its decarbonization potential for Malaysia’s energy sector.

“Despite Malaysia’s long history of energy production, I have found the awareness and knowledge of fuel ethanol to be almost nonexistent due to the country’s focus on biodiesel and its position as a significant producer of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE),” said Aaron Goh, USGC SEA&O regional ethanol consultant. “With this seminar, we aimed to invigorate the conversation on fuel ethanol and establish a springboard for further multi-stakeholder discussions on its feasibility from an economic and environmental standpoint.”

The event also provided the Council a platform to forge stronger and deeper relationships in the Malaysian oil and gas industry – a crucial component to better understanding viable avenues to the inclusion of ethanol blends in fuel import specifications. Seminar attendees included traders, key personnel along the supply chain, and fuel technicians from major oil and gas companies including Petronas, Chevron and Petron.

“By forging these networks, the Council is providing a direct link to the commercial decision makers of the domestic fuel industry. This positions us to better understand and engage the oil and gas industry regarding its fuel development strategy and plans to achieve carbon neutrality,” Goh said.

Malaysia is a country of 32 million people and annual fuel consumption surpassing five billion gallons at a zero percent ethanol blend rate. That presents a notable market opportunity for the U.S. ethanol industry.

“Malaysia will continue to be one of the Council’s key ethanol markets in the Southeast Asia and Oceania region given its size and current penetration rate. With in-person programming now resuming in Malaysia, the Council aims to build on momentum from recent engagements to strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders and further showcase ethanol’s commercial, environmental and technical value propositions,” said Chris Markey, USGC assistant regional director for Southeast Asia and Oceania.