VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — US Grains Council staff and representatives joined with Advanced Biofuels Canada for a roundtable on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), with the goal of solidifying and expanding US ethanol exports to Canada.

US Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor gave remarks about USDA’s support for US ethanol exports to Canada and how SAF will contribute to the countries’ efforts to decarbonize the transportation sector.

Canada is the largest export market for US ethanol, purchasing 603.9 million gallons worth $1.7 billion in marketing year 2022-23 and has purchased 434.3 million gallons so far in 2023-24. The Canadian government is attempting to reduce the carbon footprint of its transportation sector and estimates that its ethanol consumption could increase by 185 million gallons by 2030. Currently, the country has a national 5% blend mandate, but most of its provinces have mandated even higher blends.

“In addition to Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ground transportation, the government of British Columbia has mandated airplane fuel suppliers to blend their fuel with 1% SAF by 2028 and 3% SAF by 2030,” said Cary Sifferath, vice president of the USGC. “The SAF mandate is an opportunity for US producers to capitalize on their existing ethanol market share and help Canada meet its SAF demand, and the Council hopes that the mandate serves as an example for other Canadian provinces and countries worldwide to follow and further reduce their carbon emissions.”

The SAF policy roundtable brought government and industry leaders from Canada and the United States together to collaborate on how to move Canada’s SAF integration forward and continue decarbonizing the aviation sector.

The next two days were packed with meetings with government officials and industry stakeholders for the Council’s delegation to better understand how the United States can support Canada’s potentially significant increase in ethanol demand over the next several years.

The group also had separate meetings with Undersecretary Taylor; officials from the government of British Columbia; GEVO, a company committed to developing bio-based alternatives to petroleum; the government of Alberta; S&T Squared Consultants, which conducts environmental modeling and energy policy analysis; and the International Energy Agency.

“Meeting with a wide range of industry stakeholders from USDA staff to Canadian government bodies was a great way for everyone to align on how to help Canada meet its carbon reduction goals through higher US ethanol and SAF exports,” Sifferath said.