20/12/2021 - 09:19

Australia to scale up urea manufacturing

20/12/2021 - 09:19

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Australia has struck a deal to increase the local manufacturing of urea amid a global shortage, but Western Roads has expressed concerns that WA could be left out.

Australia to scale up urea manufacturing
Photo: Attila Csaszar

Australia has struck a deal to increase the local manufacturing of urea amid a global shortage, but Western Roads has expressed concerns that WA could be left out. 

The federal government and fertiliser manufacturer Incitec Pivot have struck an agreement to significantly increase the local production of urea used in diesel exhaust fluid AdBlue.

The company will design, trial and, once tests are successful, scale up manufacturing of significant quantities of technical grade urea to supply the domestic market.

Indonesia is giving Australia 5000 tonnes of refined urea in January. Trade Minister Dan Tehan said this was enough for about a month's worth of AdBlue.

"By working closely with our partners, we have been able to secure this critical supply for Australia," he said.

"We will continue to strengthen our close relationships around the world to support and further Australia's interests."

Mr Tehan last week said Australia had about seven weeks' worth of urea left as China restricted exports.

He flagged approaches to shore up supply with countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Japan.

Western Roads Federation said it welcomed the announcement but expressed concern regarding short-term supply problems. 

“Our members are ringing daily, expressing alarming levels of concern at the short term supply, as increasing numbers of WA sites are reportedly running out of AdBlue,” Western Roads Federation chief executive Cam Dumesny said. 

The organisation added that ongoing global shipping disruptions and delays in getting deliveries to site, was also an issue. 

It called on the federal government to ensure that supply is distributed equitably across the states and not just east coast truck routes. 

Korea in November sent Australia 27,000 litres of urea.

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