VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Family Express plans to introduce E15 this summer, joining other chains such as Thorntons, Kum & Go, Sheetz and Murphy USA to offer the 15% ethanol blend.
Family Express, Valparaiso, Ind., which has nearly 70 sites in Indiana, plans to begin offering E15 at 45 blender pumps in June at locations in Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Porter, St. Joseph, Starke, Tippecanoe and White counties. It will brand E15 as Unleaded e15. A $789,000 grant from the Hoosier Homegrown Fuels (HHF) Blender Pump program, which aims to increase availability of higher ethanol blends in the state, is helping fund the installation.
"The initial deployment of Unleaded e15 will be executed for about one-third of our 68 stores," Gus Olympidis, founder and CEO of Family Express, told CSPDailyNews. "It is reasonable to expect further transition to additional locations as we engage in planned replacement of fuel dispensers. Our strategy remains consistent with our goal of supporting domestic/renewable fuels."
Family Express has sold E85, an 85% ethanol blend for flex-fuel vehicles, for about a decade. E85 ranks second to regular E10, the 10% ethanol blend, in fuel sales at Family Express sites.
The HHF program supports the installation of blender pumps to dispense blends from E15 to E85 for at least five years. It is set up to fund about 110 new ethanol pumps. Last year, it distributed $268,000 in its first round of grants. Today, there are 185 blender pumps in the state that can dispense ethanol blends beyond E10. Nationwide, roughly 230 fueling sites in 23 states offer E15.
The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) and the Indiana Office of Energy Development recently announced the grant, which is provided in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency. Other partners in the program include the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Greater Indiana Clean Cities and South Shore Clean Cities.
“Increasing the accessibility to ethanol-blended fuels is a key priority of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, as our state’s ethanol industry is a major consumer of the corn produced across Indiana,” said David Gottbrath, president of the ICMC. “It is exciting to see Indiana fuel retailers, including Family Express, committing to provide easier access to Indiana’s homegrown sustainable fuel.”