Leaders in the ethanol industry got together last week in Indianapolis to discuss the future of the industry in Indiana.
Steve Pittman, Director of the Indiana Ethanol Producers Association and General Manager of POET-Portland, is especially excited about the future of the cellulosic ethanol industry. “We see corn ethanol still stay as the basis of what we do and then we’ll see growth in cellulosic over the next ten years,” Steve said. “We don’t see corn going away. The concept is to reap the corn stover off the same fields we’re harvesting corn off of. We’ll have another opportunity for farmers to sell another product without having to grow another crop.”
Listen to an interview with Pittman here: Steve Pittman interview
Right now, infrastructure is important to expanding consumer choice, according to Rosalind Leeck, Director of Biofuels for Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC). “Our farmers believe that expanding infrastructure to allow consumers more access to ethanol-blended fuel is crucial to the success and growth of the industry,” said Leeck, adding that ICMC is funding a program to encourage fuel retailers to add flex fuel pumps that offer mid-level blends, like E30, in addition to E85 to drivers of Flex Fuel Vehicles. “Through this program, 14 flex fuel pumps will be added to fuel stations across the state over the next several months.”
Listen to an interview with Rosalind Leeck here: Rosalind Leeck interview
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis agrees that building infrastructure is critical to the increasing consumer choice. Buis told Gary Truitt of the Hoosier Ag Today (HAT) that he is optimistic about the future of ethanol in Indiana and nationwide. “Unlike Big Oil, ethanol is not stuck in the past, we’re focused on moving forward. With the introduction of E15 into the marketplace and increased build out of Flex Fuel pumps, American consumers will finally have choice when they fill up at the pump,” Buis says. “We know we can do more, we know it’s good for America.”
Listen to Truitt’s interview with Buis here: Tom Buis interview
Indiana produces 1.1 billion gallons of ethanol every year in 13 different ethanol plants across the state. Thanks to Gary Truitt of HAT for attending the Indiana ethanol forum and provided the photos and audio interviews.