Developing Markets: Vietnamese Government Delegation Visits U.S. Ethanol Value Chain

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), in partnership with Iowa Corn, escorted a group of Vietnamese government officials and fuel industry professionals on a tour of the U.S. ethanol value chain last week to support the country’s growing demand for fuel ethanol and solidify the U.S. industry’s position in the Vietnamese market. Attendees included representatives from the Vietnam Ministries of Industry and Trade, Finance and Transport.

“Vietnam is studying a potential migration of its current E5 RON92 mandate to all grades of gasoline as an immediate goal, with a longer-term aim of implementing E10 blending,” said Chris Markey, USGC deputy director of Southeast Asia and Oceania (SEA&O). “Coupled with Vietnam’s demand for gasoline, which is expected to grow at a double-digit rate through 2030, a nationwide E5 mandate would increase ethanol consumption by an estimated 400 percent. This creates a significant opportunity for the U.S. ethanol industry to support Vietnam’s clean energy transition with supplemental supply.”

The first stop on the trip was a visit to a POET ethanol plant in Arthur, Iowa on June 11. POET is the largest biofuels producer in the world, allowing participants to see the scale and production practices used to meet global ethanol demand and sustainability targets. The team subsequently stopped at the Iowa Fuels Lab to learn how ethanol is tested for quality assurance before it reaches consumers.

Council staff arranged a series of high-level discussions for the following day, highlighted by a meeting with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Grant Menke were also on hand to give attendees an overview of the state’s agriculture industry and heritage.

Staff from the Hormel Institute and American Lung Association presented on the human health benefits of ethanol and visits to fuel terminals and fuel retailers demonstrated how ethanol-blended fuel is transported and marketed to consumers. The group also toured a local corn farm to see how the raw materials for ethanol production are sustainably grown each year.

Lastly, the group attended the Iowa Corn 350, an annual NASCAR race where participants witnessed the high-performance capabilities of ethanol.

“Building consumers’ and policymakers’ confidence in ethanol’s compatibility, economics and health benefits will be critical as Vietnam looks to increase its fuel ethanol use,” Markey said. “Our meetings here established further trust in the practices of U.S. farmers and ethanol producers and the Council is positioned to support both the Vietnamese market and the U.S. industry to meet an anticipated increase in demand for fuel ethanol in Vietnam.”

Read more about the Council’s work in ethanol here.