As a result of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Latin America office’s continuous engagement with key government officials and stakeholders in Ecuador, USGC president and CEO, Ryan LeGrand, met with both Ecuadorian government and industry leaders last week to sign memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to further advance ethanol use in the country.
The MOUs will act as a framework for future collaboration between Ecuadorian leaders and the Council as USGC aims to position ethanol as a cost-effective solution to decarbonize transportation and improve fuel quality in the region, solidifying a long-term Council effort to increase U.S market share for corn co-products, including both U.S. distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) and ethanol.
“The signing of the MOU with the Ministry of Energy and Petroecuador will allow the Council to work together in demonstrating how higher fuel quality can be achieved through increased ethanol use,” said LeGrand. “The Council wishes to support the growth of the Ecuadorian ethanol market, and to help the country materialize the fiscal, environmental and human health benefits associated to higher blend levels.”
While in the country, LeGrand met with the Ministry of Energy, Petroecuador and the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador. Together, the group signed an MOU to guide future collaboration on the improvement of fuel quality using higher blends of ethanol.
At the bilateral level, the governments of Ecuador and the U.S. have been working together since 2017 to reduce trade barriers, promote economic growth and build on the trade relationship between the two nations. At the same time, the Council has been working with strategic public and private stakeholders to build technical capacity and unlock the value proposition associated with increased ethanol use and the opening of imports.
Over the last three years, the Council has facilitated visits by technical experts to provide training on increased ethanol blends, hosted public and private sector Ecuadorian representatives at the Ethanol Summit of the Americas, participated in the 2019 Refiners Trade Mission to the U.S. and collaborated with the Ministry of Energy and the National Standards Institute in 2020 to successfully modify fuel specification parameters to enable ethanol blending at a 10 percent level.
During LeGrand’s visit, an MOU was also signed with the local ethanol producers association, APALE, through which the Council seeks to implement a pioneering model in the region for ethanol use.
Currently, Ecuador produces approximately 28 million gallons of ethanol that allow it to achieve an E5 blend level in almost 50 percent of its territory. By using local production and imports, Ecuador could cost-effectively improve fuel quality and achieve a higher blend level nationwide.
“The Council is excited to partner with APALE and the local ethanol producing companies to achieve the fulfillment of the goals set forth by the Ecopais policy, under a collaborative and win-win approach to develop the market and increase ethanol use,” said LeGrand.
Ecopais seeks to respect local production, investments and jobs, always in compliance with the laws and regulations established by the government.
The Council remains committed to providing discussion and cooperation opportunities with Ecuador as it looks to adopt higher ethanol blends. The MOU signings are an official step forward in the relationship between Ecuador and the U.S. and the Council looks forward to continuing work with the Ecuadorian government in the future.
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.