Diesel engine crisis looming due to world-wide AdBlue shortages

10 December 2021

Global shortages of AdBlue, the diesel exhaust fluid used in trucks to meet New Zealand’s strict anti-pollution standards, could bring the domestic transport industry to a standstill.

Constrained supply of AdBlue comes in the wake of international shortages of urea – a critical ingredient of the product – with two of the world’s biggest producers (China and Russia) having limited urea exports in an attempt to secure their own domestic supply.

Closer to home, Australia is signalling that they could have serious problems keeping up with internal distribution network demands, if they are not able to resolve urea supply constraints. 

In New Zealand Ballance Agri-Nutrients (Ballance) has increased production of its AdBlue-certified GoClear diesel exhaust fluid, offering a local solution for New Zealand’s trucking industry. 

With Ballance being the only domestic manufacturer of urea, CEO Mark Wynne says the company’s role in keeping New Zealand moving is vital.

“International urea shortages highlight the critical importance for New Zealand to have surety of supply through local manufacture. 

“We’re already seeing global freight challenges, and without GoClear (AdBlue) we could end up with domestic freight issues as well. New Zealand’s freight and transport industries could literally come to a standstill, and have major flow-on effects for many sectors - including food shortages, increased food prices and the interruption to the supply chains which sustain economies,” he says.

Ballance’s Kapuni site is primarily focused on the manufacture of urea for nitrogen-based fertilisers for agriculture. Recently however, they diverted significant urea production towards making GoClear (AdBlue) to meet demand. 

Mark says, “In late November, we supplied one of New Zealand’s biggest AdBlue distributors with 1,000,000 litres of GoClear (AdBlue), at which time the domestic market was within days of running out of diesel fuel additive. You can see how big this is, we produced approximately six months’ worth of GoClear (AdBlue) in three weeks."

GoClear (AdBlue) is made of 32.5% high-quality urea and 67.5% high-purity demineralised water. At peak manufacturing, Ballance is able to provide significant quantities of AdBlue / Go Clear to the New Zealand market and we are committed to uninterrupted supply to all our major customers.

Mark says, “Ballance’s primary focus is providing New Zealand farmers and growers with the nutrients they need to produce the food we eat. Our shareholders rely in the domestic trucking industry as well to ensure supply chains can deliver to end consumers. We’re committed to helping both industries be successful.”


Truck driver filling truck with GoClear AdBlue