Council Visits Chile With Consultants, Conducts Fuel Infrastructure Assessment

U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff in Latin America (LTA) recently traveled to Chile to join a group of consultants that is assessing the country’s fuel supply chain. The project aims to determine the feasibility and best logistical model to implement an ethanol blend policy in the country.

“Blending ethanol with gasoline presents a cost-effective, short-term opportunity for Chile to make progress towards its goal of decarbonizing transportation, and this assessment is a key contribution to efficiently determine its feasibility and how to best go about it,” said Carlos Suarez, USGC manager of sustainability, policy and innovation, who previously worked with the Council as LTA ethanol consultant.

The Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chile’s Ministry of Energy and the national oil company, ENAP, last March to establish a collaboration framework to explore opportunities for the use of biofuels in the country. The current study is being developed under that framework and is enabled by a grant provided by Indiana Corn Marketing Council and resources from the Council’s LTA office.

Once completed, the study will be used by the Ministry of Energy and ENAP to complement the refining, environmental and fleet analyses that will be conducted over the next few months as part of the process of regulatory and policy changes required for the implementation of an ethanol blend policy.

“The willingness of Chile’s government and fuel industry stakeholders to conduct a thorough review of the infrastructure and logistics feasibility of ethanol blending is a major accomplishment for the Council, as only three years ago it was not included within the country’s energy policy or the industry’s agenda,” Suarez said.

Under the workplan developed by the government and ENAP officials, with collaboration from the Council, the process is expected to culminate by late 2023 and could open the market to approximately 130 million gallons of ethanol exports per year, based on Chile’s current gasoline consumption. The Council will continue to work with the Chilean government and the various fuel supply chain stakeholders to unlock the potential of ethanol use in the country.