The road transport industry has taken a step towards greater resilience with the Federal Government announcing it will come to the aid of domestic manufacturing of diesel exhaust fluid additive.
Under the $16.2 million Maintaining Our Supply of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (MOSDEF) grants program, Australian industry has been encouraged to produce Technical Grade Urea (TGU) domestically, or DEF from means other than imported TGU.
DEF, also known widely be its trade name ‘AdBlue’, reduces harmful nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines.
Made by blending TGU with deionised water, DEF is mostly consumed by the long haul commercial vehicle fleets in Australia.
Some passenger vehicles, including cars, large buses, and agricultural, mining and other off-road equipment also rely on DEF.
Following tight TGU supply last summer which led to concerns about Australia’s domestic supply chain and its over-reliance on imports, the MOSDEF grant program will support the manufacturing of ISO 222421-compliant DEF or TGU in hopes of reducing this vulnerability.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said the grant program was part of Government’s approach to secure the supply of TGU within Australia.
“The grant program will support the sovereign manufacture of Diesel Exhaust Fluid and Technical Grade Urea in Australia, and make our trucking industry more resilient,” he said.
“This funding will protect households, business and industry from further disruptions and bolster stock holdings of TGU.
“But most importantly, it will keep our transport and freight sectors moving.”
Grant recipients can receive up to $16.2 million under the four-year program, which will fund up to 50 per cent of project costs from facilities central to existing DEF infrastructure and logistics.
The Albanese Government is already moving to make the local DEF market more secure by creating a TGU stockpile of 7,500 tonnes for an additional five weeks of supply beyond industry stock levels in the event of a supply shortage.
In addition, the Government is also implementing a transparency system for collection and publication of data provided by the industry.
The opening of the MOSDEF grant program is the latest in the suite of measures to restore security to the DEF market in Australia.
MOSDEF applications are open until 31 January 2023 and can be accessed through business.gov.au/MOSDEF.