Calls for new task force to tackle diesel exhaust fluid shortage

diesel exhaust AdBlue

Following a crisis meeting with the federal government, the National Road Transport Association wants a cross-sector task force to manage the fast-looming Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) shortage.

NatRoad Chief Executive Officer Warren Clark says although road transport would be hit first and hardest when supplies of DEF dry up, the problem was bigger than any one sector.

“We were pleased with Friday’s meeting with the office of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, and the Government does understand the potential for the shortage to bring road freight to a halt,” Mr Clark said.

“But this is first and foremost an issue of supply. Australia is a big importer of DEF, with 80 percent of the Asia-Pacific needs coming from China which has stopped all exports to stabilise its local market.”

Warren called on trade minister Dan Tehan needs to find an alternative source.

“The Government needs to establish a task force of industry, with officials from relevant departments, so that we can all manage the shortage in the immediate term,” he says.

“We really don’t know how much is in the supply chain, and a handful of NatRoad members say they could run out as early as this week.”

DEF, commonly known by its trade name AdBlue, is used to modify late model diesel engine operations to take Nitric Oxide out of their emissions. Without AdBlue, these engines will cease to operate.

“Diesel Exhaust Fuel is distributed both at retail bowsers and in bulk, with larger transport companies maintaining their own reserves,” Warren adds.

“The Government needs to speak to those big operators and distributors and determine exactly how stock remains on hand.”

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