Report: Cargill Gets OK to Market E15 Gas Blend

The approval comes more than 14 months after the Obama administration approved a waiver from the ethanol industry to increase the allowable limit from 10 percent to 15 percent.

Wayzata-based Cargill, Inc., is reportedly one of 20 companies that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given a green light to market ethanol in a 15 percent blend with gasoline.

According to a report by the Pioneer Press, the approval comes more than 14 months after the Obama administration approved a waiver from the ethanol industry to increase the allowable limit from 10 percent.

Ethanol mixed with gasoline extends supplies and helps reduce U.S. dependence on crude oil.

“For over 30 years ethanol has been blended into gasoline, but the law limited it to 10 percent by volume for use in gasoline-fueled vehicles,” the EPA told the Pioneer Press via an e-mailed statement. “Registration of ethanol to make E15 is a significant step toward its production, sale, and use” in cars and light trucks produced in model year 2001 and later.

Ethanol trade group Growth Energy, which pushed for the EPA to approve a waiver, told the newspaper in an e-mailed statement that filling stations in the corn-rich Midwest may be the first to begin selling E15, possibly this summer.

By law, the United States is required to consume 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol this year and 15 billion gallons by 2015. Citing the Renewable Fuels Association, the Pioneer Press reported that the ethanol industry is capable of producing 14.7 billion gallons from its 210 refineries.

In other Cargill news, the company has reportedly positioned itself to borrow up to $1.25 billion, but it isn't saying why. Quoting a person familiar with the deal, Bloomberg reported that the funds will be used to refinance a $1.25 billion loan that matured last month. Terms of the new “syndicated loan” through 26 banks are good for 364 days.