Seymour, Indiana will soon be part of a ground-breaking move in the ethanol industry. Illinois-based HWRT Oil Company will be the first company in the United States to offer pre-blended 15% ethanol at the terminal level. Robert White says this announcement is the “biggest game-changer” for increasing access to E15 since EPA approved the fuel. White is the Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Industry Relations.
“HWRT, which is an oil company in Illinois, has announced that they’re going to start offering E15 at their 4 company owned terminals September 16th, and that will be the first terminal in the country that will have E15 as an available option for retailers and suppliers to pull product from those terminals.”
White says that currently there is no access to E15 at local fuel terminals and retailers across the country offering the fuel do so by diluting a higher ethanol blend with regular unleaded.
“That obviously requires additional storage,” he said. “It requires additional equipment and in many cases the E85 equipment is substantially higher than the E10 or E15 dispenser. So if you have E15 available at a terminal that gives a retailer an option to start selling E15 immediately. In most cases all of the underground equipment is already going to be E15 compatible. If their dispensers happen to not be, there are inexpensive conversion kits or they can simply go with new dispensers and get that coverage of compatibility they need.”
He says there is a significant expense advantage to selling E15 on its own. The four HWRT terminals that will begin offering E15 in September are located in Illinois, Indiana and Arkansas, and White says they hope that will grow quickly to their other 17 terminals in 7 states. He says RFA will now begin working with interested retailers serviced by the four HWRT-owned terminals to assist them with offering E15 at retail.