Council And Advanced Biofuels Canada Host Sustainable Aviation Fuel Roundtable

U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff and representatives traveled to Vancouver, Canada last week to join Advanced Biofuels Canada in hosting a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) policy roundtable, on the sidelines of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agribusiness trade mission (ATM), with the goal of solidifying and expanding U.S. ethanol exports to the country.

USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor gave remarks about USDA’s support for U.S. ethanol exports to Canada and how SAF will contribute to the countries’ efforts to decarbonize the transportation sector.

Canada is the largest export market for U.S. ethanol, purchasing 603.9 million gallons worth $1.7 billion in marketing year (MY) 2022/23 and has purchased 434.3 million gallons so far in MY 2023/2024. The Canadian government is attempting to reduce the carbon footprint of its transportation sector and estimates that its ethanol consumption could increase by 185 million gallons by 2030. Currently, the country has a national five percent blend mandate, but most of its provinces have mandated even higher blends.

“In addition to Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ground transportation, the Government of British Columbia has mandated airplane fuel suppliers to blend their fuel with one percent SAF by 2028 and three percent SAF by 2030,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC vice president. “The SAF mandate is an opportunity for U.S. producers to capitalize on their existing ethanol market share and help Canada meet its SAF demand, and the Council hopes that the mandate serves as an example for other Canadian provinces and countries worldwide to follow and further reduce their carbon emissions.”

The Council’s delegation was headed by Sifferath, USGC SAF Consultant Mark Ingebretson and Iowa Corn Growers’ Association Past President and USGC Board of Directors member Curt Mether. The group also included Renewable Fuels Association General Counsel and Vice President of Government Affairs Ed Hubbard; Growth Energy Director of Government Affairs Mary Kate Munro; and Green Plains Inc. Director of Risk Control Dawniel Johnson.

The SAF policy roundtable brought government and industry leaders from Canada and the U.S. together to collaborate on how to move Canada’s SAF integration forward and continue decarbonizing the aviation sector.

The next two days were packed with meetings with government officials and industry stakeholders for the Council’s delegation to better understand how the U.S. can support Canada’s potentially significant increase in ethanol demand over the next several years.

The group also had separate meetings with Undersecretary Taylor; officials from the Government of British Columbia; GEVO, a company committed to developing bio-based alternatives to petroleum; the Government of Alberta; S&T Squared Consultants, which conducts environmental modeling and energy policy analysis; and the International Energy Agency.

“Meeting with a wide range of industry stakeholders from USDA staff to Canadian government bodies was a great way for everyone to align on how to help Canada meet its carbon reduction goals through higher U.S. ethanol and SAF exports,” Sifferath said.

Read more about the Council’s work in Canada.