Japan’s New Biofuels Policy to Allow U.S. Ethanol

Japan’s government has instituted a new biofuels policy that will allow imports of gas additive ETBE made from U.S. corn-based ethanol. Hailing the move is the the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight says this decision by Japan helps pave the way for future U.S. ethanol sales into the Asian country.

Under the policy change, Japan will allow U.S. ethanol to meet up to 44 percent of a total estimated demand to make ETBE or 95.5 million gallons annually. Sleight says the key to achieving this was constant communication with the Japanese and showing them the benefits of ethanol.

He says the teamwork of the leading ethanol groups paid off with this new Japanese biofuels policy.

The change comes as part of Japan’s update of its existing sustainability policy approved in 2010 in which only sugarcane-based ethanol was eligible for import.

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