TheMinister for Industry, Angus Taylor has announced the establishment of an AdBlue taskforce as industry and government continue to engage in consultation over a fears of a potential AdBlue shortage with current estimates of around five weeks or 15 million litres supply currently on hand in Australia with more on the way according to Minister Taylor.
The Minister said the Taskforce will work across government and with industry to develop solutions to any potential future supply constraints. Options being explored include alternative international supply options for refined urea, bolstering local manufacturing capabilities and technical options at the vehicle level.
Former CEO of Incitec Pivot and current chair of manufacturing Australia, James Fazzino, will head the taskforce along with Andrew Liveris, the former chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and a director of Saudi Aramco, while Australia’s chief scientist and Dr Cathy Foley, . Additional industry members will be confirmed in due course.
The Government says it is working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and industry on whether an authorisation is needed to allow Australian diesel exhaust fluid producers to share information.
The Morrison Government says it is working with industry to understand current global pressures in the urea market and any implications this may have on the supply of diesel exhaust fluid in Australia, also known as AdBlue.
Australia currently has normal levels of stocks to hand of AdBlue, with more refined urea stocks on their way to Australia.
There are currently in excess of 15 million litres of AdBlue supplies on hand, which is equivalent to close to five weeks of business-as-usual demand.
There are multiple shipments of refined urea currently on their way to Australia, which are estimated to provide over two weeks of additional supply to the market.
Advice provided to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources from AdBlue manufacturers is that this is within range of normal stockholding levels.
Industry is also reporting that other international supply chains are open and operating, a positive indication of ongoing supply options in the medium term.
At the request of the Prime Minister, Minister Taylor with the Department for Industry, Science, Energy and Resources will now lead a coordinated whole-of-government effort to ensure reliable and ongoing supply of AdBlue in close cooperation with industry.
Minister Taylor says businesses and consumers buying additional stocks is unnecessary and unhelpful, and urged industry to continue operating as per usual and maintain normal levels of AdBlue.
“We are quickly and actively working to ensure supply chains of both refined urea and AdBlue are secure so that industry can have certainty on their operations,” says Taylor.
“Global supply pressures, stemming from increased domestic use in China, have led to international issues in securing refined urea, which is key to producing AdBlue. This is exacerbated by the global shortage of natural gas, the essential ingredient used to make urea.
“I can assure Australians that the Government is working to ensure we do not face any shortages. We are pursuing a range of measures to address global pressures in the urea market. We will keep our trucks running and Australian motorists on the road.”
The HVIA has also added to the discussion underlining the government sentiment in asking AdBlue buyers not to stockpile or hoard it.
“If we can avoid panic buying and hoarding, Australia’s supply should be secure until at least February or March, providing the breathing space to find a solution. Don’t be mistaken – action must be taken urgently, but it is wrong to think nothing is being done,” said HVIA CEO, Todd Hacking .
“If the worst case scenario eventuates – it is true that a substantial part of our road transport fleet could be grounded. However, the Government and industry’s collaborative efforts are already delivering some positive outcomes.
“At the same time, alternative sources for importing urea are being explored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Industry. This could potentially include countries like Indonesia, Turkey or Saudi Arabia,” Hacking said .
The ATA says it has supported the creation of the taskforce with ATA chair, David Smith believing the establishment of the taskforce demonstrates the AdBlue issue is now at the top of the government’s agenda.
“We’re think this is a good outcome. We have been calling for government to make resolving this issue a priority,” said Smith.
“We were disappointed when talks at a government-convened roundtable on Wednesday broke down and issued a media release calling for urgent government action.
“It appears that Minister Taylor has listened to our calls and is putting the AdBlue shortage at the top of government’s priority list,” Smith concluded