Article by: Hari Yellina
The nation will experience another AdBlue shortage unless the federal government promotes new domestic manufacture, according to the peak organisation for road transport businesses in Western Australia. AdBlue, also referred to as diesel exhaust fluid, is an anti-pollutant that is added to the majority of contemporary diesel engines, including those found in trucks and some farm machinery. Late last year, when China ceased shipping urea, the main component of AdBlue, there was a countrywide scarcity of it. The Morrison government responded by investing about $30 million in Queensland company Incitec Pivot to increase its AdBlue production, which met most of Australia’s needs.
However, Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) will stop producing AdBlue and close its Gibson Island facility at the end of the year. If a different local manufacturing solution is not developed before the end of the year, Australia may face another scarcity and probable price increases for bowsers, according to Western Roads Federation Chief Executive Cam Dumesny. He claimed that the cost of AdBlue had doubled this year and that Australia’s agriculture and freight sectors were “exposed” to interruptions in the global supply chain without onshore production. When the facility closes, Mr. Dumesny said, “The Australian Trucking Association, ourselves, and other associations have requested the federal government to start planning what we are going to do about securing supplies.” “To be fair to the new government, they have just recently taken office, but this is a problem, and we need to start preparing for it right away.”
IPL confirmed in a statement that it would carry out its intention to stop operating at Gibson Island on December 31, 2022, which was first revealed in November. According to the statement, “the decision to discontinue manufacturing was made regrettably due to being unable to secure affordable feedstock gas supplies from the east coast gas market.” IPL has been producing and distributing considerable amounts of Australia’s AdBlue supply since January. Importantly, the supply of fertilisers that Australian farmers depend on has not been impacted by our AdBlue manufacturing. Mr. Dumesny claimed he was unaware of any urea being produced in Australia at the grade needed to make AdBlue.
He declared, “We are firmly in support of the idea of onshore manufacturing, identifying our sovereign strengths. “In my opinion, AdBlue ought to be included in it. There are those who have gone and switched the AdBlue system off; they run the risk of receiving serious fines because doing so raises emissions and they are in violation of the legally required emissions controls. If Australia resumed purchasing AdBlue on the international market, according to Mr. Dumesny, prices would probably rise. He declared, “We would already be importing it if the price was going to drop.” The future supply of AdBlue and other essential agriculture chemicals also worries the National Farmers Federation (NFF).
The organisation would be appalled to see domestic production end without a plan in place, according to acting chief executive Charles Thomas. “A whole range of things are compounding to produce what is almost, at this moment, a cost of farming crisis in Australia,” Mr. Thomas said. “It’s not only AdBlue bringing pressure to farmers’ bottom lines.” The NFF is urging the federal government to use some of its $500 million national reconstruction budget to help AdBlue production and supply domestically. We believe we would have to support local industry subsidisation if a resilient supply demanded it, according to Mr. Thomas. The office of Energy Minister Chris Bowen was approached for a response.