More to be done to secure supply as AdBlue production ramps up

Fertiliser manufacturer Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) has ramped up its production of AdBlue by around 800 per cent, bolstering diesel exhaust fluid supplies for Australia’s transport sector and keeping the wheels of industry moving.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said fast action between the Government and industry has delivered a positive outcome for the critical sectors that use AdBlue.

“I thank Incitec Pivot for stepping up as we work together to keep our trucks fuelled and Australian diesel motorists on the road,” Minister Taylor said.

“The company has already ramped up production to over 3 million litres per week and this milestone is great news.

“While Australia currently has sufficient volumes of AdBlue to meet its needs, this local production will help restore normal national stock levels.”

Other local AdBlue manufacturers continue to play an important role in the supply chain through production and distribution, with the Government facilitating commercial supplies from overseas.

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking told the ABC this week that while IPL achievement represents around 75 per cent of Australia’s AdBlue needs, there is still more work to be done.

“That three million litres-a-week is really helping to stabilise the current shortage and we are seeing the day-by-day improvement of AdBlue nationwide,” Mr Hacking said.

“It’s still a day-by-day proposition, but we are certainly in a much more stable position with supply than we were pre-Christmas.

“We are still not out of the woods. It’s certainly something the government and industry are monitoring every day, but we are much more confident than we were six weeks ago.”

HVIA has been complementary of the Government’s coordinated response to the impending crisis which was exacerbated by alarmist responses that triggered panic-buying, hoarding and reports of price-gouging.

The latest milestone has been achieved by expanding IPL production at its Gibson Island plant in Brisbane, without impacting fertiliser urea supplies, used in the agriculture industry and relied on by Australian farmers.

When Australia’s AdBlue supply shortage is less critical, IPL plans to undertake a manufacturing assessment to produce technical grade urea – a granulated (non-liquid) form of urea that can be supplied to Australian AdBlue blenders to manufacture liquid AdBlue. 

If the manufacturing assessment is successful, IPL would produce technical grade urea, in addition to manufacturing AdBlue.

Mr Hacking said he was “cautiously optimistic” about future supplies, but that without the IPL deal, Australia would have been in “a great deal of strife” in the short term.

“The ongoing challenge is what happens in the medium and long term when this IPL deal comes to an end,” he said.

“Minister Taylor escalated the issue to the National Coordination Mechanism and their approach to bring stakeholders together has been very effective.

“I also tip my hat to IPL who have demonstrated the can-do attitude that typifies Australian manufacturing.

“The lesson out of this is that for such a critical good we can’t just rely on one country to supply it,” Mr Hacking said.

“As we said before Christmas, this is yet another example of our country’s resilience being tested.

“It is both a wake-up call and an opportunity for Australian industry.

“We will not let this pass without ensuring that the lessons for Australia’s supply chain security are acknowledged and acted upon.”

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