Eighteen more fuel retail stations in the Twin Cities area will soon offer E15 and higher ethanol blends, reports the Minnoco (Minnesota Independent Oil Company) retail group. Last fall, Minnoco opened four such stations, allowing its members the opportunity to own and control their own brand of fuel while offering E85, E30 and E15, as well as biodiesel and other fuels. The stations will be within a 150-mile radius of the Twin Cities. “However, we are more than happy to brand any facility in the entire State of Minnesota or within the U.S.,” says Lance Klatt, executive director for Minnoco.
“Our new brand not only draws in consumers for more affordable fuels, but is also a great business model for retailers,” Klatt says. Customers are seeing average savings of about $.10 per gallon on E15, $.25-$.30 per gallon on E30, and as much as $.85 per gallon on E85, he adds.
Helping to fund the infrastructure (including blend tanks and flex pumps) for the fueling stations are the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council; Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Growth Energy; Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association; and the American Lung Association in Minnesota.
To advertise the new renewable fuel options to consumers, Minnoco will work with local media outlets. It also will provide consumer education and coupons at the retail locations, offering consumers incentives to try E15 and the flex fuels, Klatt says.
Minnoco has received positive reinforcement about its efforts from corn growers. “We’re having exciting discussions and are building a better tomorrow through ethanol,” Klatt says. “Ethanol can co-exist with petroleum.” For more information, visit www.Minnoco.com.
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