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Report Shows Optimism for Fuel Ethanol Use in Korea

  • Tuesday, 23 July 2019 15:39

Ethanol Producer Magazine

July 18, 2019

By Matt Thompson

A recently released report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Services Global Agricultural Information Network says South Korea may soon revise its regulations to allow the use of ethanol-blended fuel. The report follows the 2019 Seoul Fuel Ethanol Conference, hosted by the U.S. Embassy Seoul’s Office of Agricultural Affairs, the U.S. Grains Council and the Korea Biofuels Forum.

“Despite acknowledged air quality issues in urban centers, Korea does not currently allow the use of ethanol as a transportation fuel,” the report says. “With growing public concern about air quality issue in the transportation sector, the growing use of ethanol in transportation fuel in neighboring countries, and Korea’s interest in diversifying energy sources, FAS Seoul is optimistic that Korea will soon move towards approval for some ethanol use in fuel.”

According to the report, the South Korean government recently studied the feasibility of using ethanol-blended fuels in its transport sector. The feasibility study is currently under review by the ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy “which will finalize a recommendation on whether to permit ethanol fuel blends in the near future,” the report says.

The conference, which was held at the end of April, included presentations from representatives of the U.S. Grains Council and Flint Hills Resources, as well as a panel discussion titled “The Necessity of Korea’s Fuel Ethanol Policy and Future Roadmap.” The 2019 conference was the largest since its inception four years ago.

Following the conference, a release from the U.S. Grains Council noted that South Korea imported over 56 million gallons of U.S. ethanol between September 2018 and February 2019. That ethanol is used only in the country’s beverage and industrial sectors; however, the Grains Council is also hopeful the transport sector will provide further export opportunities for U.S. ethanol.

Read FAS Seoul’s Wrap-Up Report for the 2019 Seoul Fuel Ethanol Conference here.

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