National Ethanol Conference Offers Networking, Educational Opportunities For USGC Delegation

A delegation led by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) traveled to San Diego last week to take part in the National Ethanol Conference (NEC). The delegation included Council staff and industry representatives from Mexico and the Latin American and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.

The NEC, hosted by the Renewable Fuels Association, a Council member, brings together those who play a role in the ethanol supply chain to offer the latest, timely information on marketing, legislative and regulatory issues facing the industry.

“It was necessary that we take advantage of the conference to expose our stakeholders who are considering establishing their own national ethanol policies to how the U.S. industry works and hear first-hand the industry’s commitment to partnering with their countries to meet their clean energy goals,” said Joana Hassan, USGC manager of global ethanol programs.

A highlight of the event for the USGC delegation was hearing from the Council’s Director in Japan Tommy Hamamoto. Hamamoto joined the “Working with World Partners: The International Outlook” panel, along with Gerard Ostheimer, manager, Clean Energy Ministerial Biofuture Campaign; Zoltan Szabo, sustainability consultant, Ethanol Europe; and Shrikant Rathi, executive director and head of Americas, Praj.

The panel looked at the growth and impact of international alliances and partnerships promoting the expansion of ethanol use for vehicles and other important uses in emerging economies.

“For the international market development of ethanol, it is very important to enhance communications with those customers to ensure matching our supply and their demand. The panel was an excellent opportunity to provide insights about what is happening in the global ethanol market. It was my honor to be able to give an idea about the Japan market on the panel,” Hamamoto said.

Other topics during the event included a state of the industry report; ethanol’s role in decarbonizing heavy duty markets; and how low-carbon ethanol and electric drivetrain technology can work together to decarbonize automobiles. Additionally, attendees heard from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Office Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip.

Networking opportunities like NEC allow the Council to continue building partnerships to expand ethanol use globally.

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