July 24, 2023 [Ethanol Producer Magazine]- The Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam Petroleum Association and the U.S. Grains Council jointly organized the first iteration of Decarbonize Asia: Vietnam Biofuels Forum to discuss technical, commercial and environmental considerations for the expansion of fuel ethanol use in the country.
Approximately 150 participants comprising regulators, policymakers, Vietnamese biofuel producers and fuel companies, international vehicle manufacturers, technology providers and academia attended the forum.
Keynote speakers included the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Deputy Director General of Domestic Market Le Viet Nga; Chairman of the Vietnam Petroleum Association Bui Ngoc Bao; and Ralph Bean, the U.S. agricultural counsellor to Vietnam. USGC’s Global Director of Ethanol Export Development Mackenzie Boubin and Senior Manager of Global Ethanol Market Development Stella Qian also attended and discussed global ethanol policy development and global sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) developments, respectively.
Additional presentations focused on Vietnam infrastructure and vehicle compatibility with E5 and E10; Southeast Asia ethanol trends and developments; U.S. ethanol sustainability; ethanol-to-jet fuel pathways; carbon sequestration technologies; and consumer sentiment about ethanol in Vietnam.
“Partnering with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, our memorandum of understanding (MOU) partner, to hold this forum, including leadership from both our organizations, reinforced our commitment to Vietnam and our shared ambitions to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said Assistant Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Oceania Chris Markey, referencing the MOU signed between USGC and the ministry in 2020 to collaborate on expanding fuel ethanol use.
The forum took place as Vietnam’s government is evaluating a potential policy action to migrate its E5 RON92 mandate to all grades of gasoline. An E5 mandate in Vietnam would increase ethanol demand by 400 percent and create a potential export market of 95 million gallons for U.S. fuel ethanol.
“The strategic ethanol partnership between Vietnam and the United States is a strong example of how our two countries can work together to find mutually beneficial solutions to decarbonize road transportation, bolster fuel security, improve human health and generate further investment against the backdrop of the clean energy transition,” Boubin said.
Multiple agencies across Vietnam’s government in mid-2022 submitted an Action Plan on Green Energy Transformation and the Reduction of Carbon and Methane in the Transportation Industry to the prime minister’s office which identified a migration of the E5 RON92 mandate to all grades of gasoline as a top priority to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector. The plan was subsequently endorsed by the prime minister’s office in July 2022.
Vietnam has an annual gasoline demand of approximately three billion gallons, and demand is forecasted to grow at a double-digit rate until 2030. Two Vietnamese biofuel producers typically supply about 40 percent of the country’s ethanol demand, with U.S. fuel ethanol supplementing domestic production via transshipments from South Korea.
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