Funds Available to Fuel Retailers to Offer Higher Blends of Ethanol

Source: By Eric Pfeiffer, Hoosier Ag Today • Posted: Monday, July 27, 2020

Last week we told you that Indiana ethanol plants are running at 60%-65% capacity due to COVID-19. Indiana Corn Marketing Council is trying to help with ethanol demand by talking to fuel retailers about adding Unleaded 88 or E85 to their offerings.

Helena Jette, director of biofuels for ICMC, says they offer some matching funds to retailers for things like, “Pump expenses, underground storage tanks, lines, things that are above ground that are needing refreshed like branding, making sure that those are consistent with the market and how they’re offering the products so that we’re not confusing the consumer because that that can happen if you’re not careful on how you’re branding it.

“So, we help with working with those retailers and seeing if we are able to do some of those matched dollars to help them.”

They are also helping retailers apply for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, a federal program designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels.

“There’s $100 million available for offering higher blends, and this includes biodiesel too. They’ve got $14 million for blends over B5 for biodiesel and they’re offering $86 million for E15 or E85 to help with those infrastructure costs. Indiana Corn Marketing Council is a huge resource. I’m happy to help look what that looks like for that plan to help move this product in the state, increase those gallons of ethanol, to help move those bushels of corn.”

The application period for the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program ends on August 13.

Jette says there are 3,000 fuel retail locations in Indiana and 72 of them offer Unleaded 88, so there is a lot of opportunity for growth across the state now that Unleaded 88 can be sold year-round.