Guatemala: Reform of Law on Alcohol Fuel

Advisors of the U.S. Embassy and experts in renewable energy and gasoline additives advise legislation on mixing gasoline and ethanol and eliminating the additives MMT and MTB.

Friday, May 2, 2014

From a statement issued by the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala:

Energy Commission discusses feasibility of blending ethanol fuels


The members of the Committee on Energy and Mines at the Congress of the Republic, coordinated by Congressman Gustavo Medrano, received representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, accompanied by experts in renewable energy and gasoline additives, who raised the need to reform Decree 17-85 "Alcohol Fuel Act," which establishes the regulations for marketing fuels in the country.

"The scenarios have changed drastically and Decree 17-85 no longer meets the current needs of the hydrocarbons market," said engineer Shane Hang, Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy, ​​who also called on Congress to repeal or alter this Law, so that in Guatemala fuel can be mixed with Ethanol (derived from sugar cane) and the additives MMT and MTB, which are harmful to cars and the environment, be eliminated.

"This measure will help reduce environmental pollution rates among other benefits. Guatemala currently produces 300,000 liters of ethanol a year, but due to lack of regulation it has to be exported to Europe, where it is used, while in Brazil it is being used even as fuel," said Dr. Silvia Palma Rojas from the University of Brasil.

Congressman Gustavo Medrano said that the reforms are considered necessary, but first there must be a profound socialization Iinitiative with stakeholders, in order for it to get to the Chamber and be approved without major obstacles. "Therefore we will resume discussion of these reforms in the Legislative Committee, where we hope to reach a satisfactory result," said the parliamentarian.

The meeting was also attended by: Ruben Contreras of the Organization of American States (OAS), Geronimo Estrada Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, and Ruth Urry, Diplomatic Official from the American Embassy.

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