A major milestone has been reached for the domestic production of diesel exhaust fluid, AdBlue.
Just over three million litres, or 75 per cent of Australia's regular monthly usage, of AdBlue was produced and distributed by Incitec Pivot Limited last week.
IPL has increased its production of AdBlue by 800 per cent since a deal was struck in December for the Gibson Island plant to ramp up its manufacturing capacity.
The company has also set up an AdBlue terminal in Brisbane that is capable of loading the equivalent of three B-Double trucks per hour to streamline distribution.
IPL managing director and CEO Jeanne Johns said to achieve the milestone safely in record time was a fantastic achievement.
"We have been working with wholesalers on demand forecasts to support ongoing distribution of the increased volumes of AdBlue through their network," Ms Johns said.
"We thank them for their support and look forward to continuing to work together as we increase production volumes.
"The hard work will continue as we aim to further increase production of AdBlue at Gibson Island in the coming weeks and months to meet Australia's needs."
Federal Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said fast action between the government and industry had 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," Mr Taylor said.
"While Australia currently has sufficient volumes of AdBlue to meet its needs, this local production will help restore normal national stock levels.
"I also thank the broader AdBlue manufacturing, fuel distribution and transport sectors for their continued cooperation with the government on a weekly basis.
"This open communication has meant we have been able to replenish sites and minimise disruptions for AdBlue users during the holiday period."
The government is continuing to secure additional international supplies of AdBlue and TGU from overseas.
It is also working with industry to manage stock supplies.
Out-of-stock sites, including the Hume Highway, NSW South Coast and Riverina, have been replenished through the National Coordination Mechanism.
A spokesperson for Ampol said the government response to bring industry together and support additional domestic production had improved the supply situation.
"We will work with government to review purchase limits in place across the industry as we move forward," the spokesperson said.
Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia CEO Todd Hacking said the Incitec Pivot deal had "averted quite a serious disaster".
"In our view the Incitec Pivot deal was really a game-changer," Mr Hacking said.
"Without it there's no doubt in my mind that the industry would have gone very, very seriously close to going dry and having trucks parked up on the side of the road."
Mr Hacking said the industry was in a much more certain and stable position than it was pre-Christmas.
He said Incitec Pivot were deserving of high praise for having worked 24/7 throughout the Christmas period and the government had left no stone unturned to shore up short-term supply.
"There's still some work to do in the medium- and long-term and asking 'what's next?' is a valid question," Mr Hacking said.
"Industry needs to do a lot more work with government on what that looks like.
"We are keen to get all the facts on the table, look at all the potential solutions, and methodically work through them so we put ourselves in the best possible situation for the community."
Mr Hacking said it was important to ensure the industry was not put in the position again of being days or weeks away from a significant problem.
"I think what this situation has brought to the fore is the fact that this came very quickly out nowhere," Mr Hacking said.
"I don't think anyone in the industry had really seriously questioned the strategic merit of getting so much of our supply from one country.
"We have to think about the issue strategically; I think that starts with diversifying where we get AdBlue from and/or onshoring it to the extent it is possible."
Longer-term IPL is planning to undertake a manufacturing assessment to produce technical grade urea, the main additive used in the production of AdBlue.
TGU trials are expected to commence in mid-February but will be timed to ensure there is sufficient AdBlue in the market as the plant will need to be offline for a period of time.
This TGU could then be supplied to Australian AdBlue blenders to manufacture the product.
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