June 11, 2018 / 10:53 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-China's Tianjin to use gasoline with ethanol in most vehicles

* First provincial government to officially implement policy

* The plan would mean consumption of 780,000 tonnes of corn (Adding background)

BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) - The Chinese city of Tianjin will use gasoline with added ethanol in most vehicles by the end of September, according to a document published on the city government’s website on Monday, as Beijing pushes for adoption of the biofuel nationwide.

The central government said last year that it plans to roll out the use of gasoline blended with 10 percent added ethanol nationally by 2020, to cut corn stocks and clean up choking smog.

The move by Tianjin, a port city of around 15 million people in northern China, was the first official plan by a provincial government to implement the national policy since it was announced.

Tianjin is expected to use 260,000 tonnes of fuel ethanol each year if that goal is realized, the city government said.

That would mean consumption of 780,000 tonnes of corn, as three tonnes of corn would be used to make one tonne of ethanol.

China is currently sitting on huge stocks of corn estimated to be at about 200 million tonnes, following a now discontinued government stockpiling scheme to support farmers.

China currently produces less than 2.5 million tonnes of ethanol a year, but the new policy could increase demand to 15 million tonnes a year by 2020, according to a Reuters estimate.

Domestic producers were ramping up output, on cheaper corn and government subsidies, hoping to get a share in the potentially booming market. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton Editing by Christian Schmollinger/Keith Weir)

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