A global shortage of a compound used in some diesel engines has a New Zealand company scrambling to produce enough to keep trucks moving in Aotearoa.

Last year, as Christmas approached, the industry faced a critical shortage of Adblue, which is made with the compound ‘urea’.

“Adblue is an additive that reduces emissions out of the exhaust and into the environment, so if you don’t have Adblue the trucks don’t work it’s as essential as fuel,” HW Richardson’s Colm Hamrogue said.

Countries that produce urea stopped exporting it, causing a 400 per cent spike in the cost.

“There are shortages because countries like China and Russia are wanting to protect their domestic market and so they’re limiting exports of urea, that is for agriculture purposes. And then for the product Adblue it needs to be an automotive grade and that is in even shorter supply,” Kate Davies from Ballance Agri-Nutrients said.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients scaled up production at its Kapuni plant in Taranaki.

Producing six months of diesel exhaust fluid in three weeks and preventing a nationwide shortage.

“So the effect would be that supply networks particularly trucks that are reliant on this product would not be able to work, would not be able to move so it would effectively stop supply networks on New Zealand.,” Davies said.

The Transport Ministry told 1News the current supply should be able to keep up with demand as long as it remains stable.

It says it is important companies don’t panic buy or stockpile the product unnecessarily to avoid creating an artificial shortage.

Extracted in full from: NZ company ramps up production of urea for diesel engines (1news.co.nz)