Ethanol Mission To Ottawa Focuses On Enhancing Blending

Last week, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) representatives Isabelle Ausdal, regional ethanol manager for the European Union, United Kingdom and Canada, and Growth Energy’s Chris Bliley, senior vice president of regulatory affairs, visited Ottawa, Canada, to promote increased ethanol blending following the country’s implementation of its Clean Fuel Regulations (CFR).

The mission focused on E10 and E15 blends, CFR requirements, inflation reduction act (IRA) implementation, regulations, market trends and infrastructure for enhanced blending. Canada has a national five-percent blend mandate, but actual blending is around 10 percent, boosted by provincial mandates and cost savings.

“It’s been more than six years since USGC began engaging in original Clean Fuel Regulation discussions, and we have now seen it through to full implementation. Successful execution of these missions further strengthens collaboration between U.S. and Canadian biofuel stakeholders to promote and support increased ethanol blending nationwide and pave the way for future CFR training workshops and partnerships,” Ausdal said.

In the 2022/23 marketing year (MY), Canada was the largest market for U.S. ethanol, with exports totaling 604 million gallons (214.1 million bushels), worth $1.7 billion.

After being finalized in July 2022, Canada’s CFR came into force in July 2023. The CFR aims to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of liquid transportation fuels within the country and has the potential to increase the use of ethanol by an additional 185 million gallons by 2030, according to the Canadian government. Canadian imports of U.S. fuel ethanol in MY 2022/23 increased 40 percent to approximately 465 million gallons compared to the previous MY.

“Canada remains one of our strongest trading partners and a key market for bioethanol as part of their Clean Fuel Regulation and provincial blending requirements. It was encouraging to see the interest from the Canadian government in the key low-carbon innovation taking place at U.S. biorefineries and in U.S. agriculture,” Bliley said.

In a victory for U.S. and Canadian producers alike, the country’s agency in charge of CFR drafting and implementation, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), approved the U.S. application for legislative recognition in November 2023. This demonstrates that U.S. feedstock is in compliance with the land use and biodiversity (LUB) criteria under the CFR, ensuring U.S. feedstock, biodiesel and ethanol exports to Canada will not be hindered under the CFR’s LUB criteria.

“Priorities for the Council going forward will continue to focus on regulations at the federal level, as well as exploring ways to support increased ethanol use in the provinces. In a successful effort to decarbonize, six out of 10 provinces have ethanol blending mandates. Those policies will only get stronger, and we continue to see other provinces recognize that value when forming plans to tackle fuel prices and emission reduction requirements,” Ausdal said.

Click here to learn more about the Council’s work in Canada.