Protec expands E85 in southern states

By Luke Geiver | February 09, 2010
Posted March 1, 2010

The funding for E85 infrastructure is reaching further south, this time creating 30 new fueling stations spread out through Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Protec Fuel LLC, a Florida-based company specializing in ethanol programs, recently received funding from the U.S. DOE and announced in February that 18 of the 30 awarded sites are already finished or currently under construction. Partnering with Urbieta Oil, the Renewable Fuels Association, the U.S. Clean Cities Coalitions, and General Motors, Protec says its main goal is to get the E85 infrastructure into the highest use areas.

"Just because there are a lot of flex fuel vehicles in one area, doesn't mean we will put a blending facility there," said Todd Garner, managing partner for Protec. "We still have to complete a survey and other research to determine what blending facilities will work in specific locations." Garner says they start with determining the number of flex fuel vehicles around each proposed site, including the presence of corporate fleets, military vehicles, and the distance between the vehicles and the site. After obtaining this information, Protec believes they can offer a more feasible grant when applying for funding and Garner adds, "Our success rate at our stations average more gallons of E85 than any other stations in the nation."

By using an existing network of retailers, Protec speaks with certain retailers who meet the highest levels of data gathered through the pre-grant research about installing the infrastructure. With eight sites completed and 10 others under construction, the partners in the project seem satisfied with the results. "We're pleased to work with Protec to increase E85 pumps across the country. GM has over 4 million flex-fuel vehicles in the U.S. and Florida is one of the most populated flex fuel vehicle markets," said Mary Beth Stanek, director of environment and energy policy for GM.

Edwin Flores, president for Urbieta Oil stated that "by expanding to 20 E85 stations in south Florida, Urbieta has made a commitment to our customers. We are empowering them to make a difference for the environment, economy and national security."

Along with the work to increase E85 infrastructure in the southeastern U.S., Protec also has projects throughout the country and supplies, either directly or through distribution partners, to approximately 250 E85 stations.