A northwest Iowa ethanol bio-refinery is offering retailers $15,000 to install new fuel pumps to dispense a higher blend of ethanol than the traditional 10 percent blend that’s available at nearly all stations.
“We wanted to come up with a program that would entice more blender pumps across Iowa and increase the level of usage of renewable fuels at higher blends in flexible fuel vehicles,” says Steve Roe, general manager of Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus. “Iowa has been a leader in renewable fuels industry since the start and we wanted to continue to try to grow the use of renewable fuels in Iowa.”
The biorefinery is offering the $15,000 to up to five retailers that agree to install the blender pumps, a project with a total cost of $75,000.
“The benefit for the retailer is going to be that he is going to be able to offer a broader spectrum of renewable fuel for flex-fuel vehicles from E15 clear up to an E85 all through one system that will reduce his costs,” Roe says. “And obviously with our program it’s going to reduce his costs further and should allow them to be more competitive in the marketplace.”
The biorefinery’s board of directors will review the grant applications. Retailers must submit a two-year budget on the volume of renewable fuels they expect to sell as part of the application process. Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus makes about 110 million gallons of ethanol per year.
State officials recently announced a $250,000 federal grant will be used to provide incentives to retailers for installing blender pumps.
(Reporting by Dan Skelton, KICD, Spencer)