Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) is bullish about national efforts to head off any AdBlue shortage crisis.
The industry suppliers group stated action before and over the Christmas-new year period is paying off.
HVIA chief executive Todd Hacking has been taking part in meetings facilitated by the federal government’s crisis management agency, Emergency Management Australia (EMA), addressing shortages of urea, an essential input in the manufacture of AdBlue.
“Stocks of AdBlue are now steadily improving across priority sites and localised production has been ramping up at an ever-increasing rate,” he says.
“It is still crucial that businesses do not hoard the product so those that need supplies have access to them until the situation normalises.”
Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) is aiming at production of 3 million litres of AdBlue a week from January 16.
The federal government is confident that the combination of IPL’s production schedule and ongoing imports means that will enable petrol stations and other distributors to replenish inventory over the coming weeks.
Just before Christmas, Incitec Pivot MD and CEO Jeanne Johns addressed the challenges her company faced.
“Our expert teams have been working around-the-clock on a solution to help address an Australian AdBlue supply shortage,” Johns said at the time.
“We’re very pleased our domestic manufacturing expertise can be mobilised and we’re working together with the federal government to expand supply of this critical material that we all rely on to keep Australia moving.
“We’ve had great support from prime minister Scott Morrison, industry minister Angus Taylor and the federal Department of Industry.
IPL’s Brisbane Gibson island plant produces fertiliser products, along with industrial chemicals for the domestic market.
The plant had been destined to stop local production in favour of imported ‘green’ ammonia in this December, due to high gas prices, but was given a new lease on life through a $29.4 million federal grant to boost domestic urea supply by 5,000 tonnes by the end of the month.
While most of the urea produced is fertiliser grade used by Australian farmers, a small portion is used to make AdBlue solution, supplying around 10% of the Australian market.
The remainder AdBlue market is reliant on international imports which have been disrupted over the last few months.