ICYMI: Joint Statement Regarding Japan’s New Rule On Ethanol

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released its final proposed rule for partial amendment of the Act on Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply Structures on March 31, 2023 – in place through 2028 – that allows the country to further contribute to its climate targets through consumption of lower-carbon ethanol and, for the first time, will allow U.S. ethanol to successfully access 100 percent of the Japanese biofuel market.

The act, which is reviewed every five years, featured timely and scientific updates regarding the life cycle assessment of U.S. corn-based ethanol.

Japanese regulators revised the U.S. corn ethanol carbon intensity score that allows U.S. ethanol to fully access the entire bioethanol market – up from 66 percent access in 2021 based on continued improvement in reduction of carbon emission by the U.S. ethanol industry.

The target volume for Japanese bioethanol consumption remains at 217 million gallons (76,950,354 bushels in corn equivalent) per year at an ethanol blend level of 1.9 percent used in the form of ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE).

In response to the announcement, U.S. Grains Council President (USGC) and CEO Ryan LeGrand, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper said jointly:

“The U.S. ethanol community applauds the Japanese government for joining other countries in recognizing the role ethanol can play in the global effort to address climate change at the same time it takes steps to decarbonize its transportation sector. Countries around the world are recognizing that biofuels like ethanol are a simple, inexpensive and effective solution they can deploy today to help them lower their carbon emissions and meet their climate goals. We will continue to work closely with Japan and other nations to find more ways for us to collaboratively decrease carbon emissions. The U.S. ethanol industry will engage with Japan on additional ethanol consumption efforts both within the on-road and sustainable aviation sectors as the country implements its new regulation.”