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The federal government has announced today that it has secured a deal for the local production of urea amid global shortages. This is following China’s ban on the export of this product to focus on domestic agriculture.

Urea is a key ingredient in the production of the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Commercially known as AdBlue, it acts an anti-pollutant in modern diesel engines.

Last week, the trucking and transport industries expressed concerns that it could cripple transport networks and cause supply shortages as the holiday approaches.

The Australian government has struck an agreement with local fertilizer manufacturer, Incitec Pivot to increase the local production of technical grade urea which will be used in manufacturing AdBlue.

The company is expected to design, trial, and scale up the manufacturing of significant quantities of urea to supply the domestic market.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan also said that Indonesia will be giving Australia 5000 tonnes of refined urea in January. The government is also moving to secure supply from countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Japan.

“By working closely with our partners, we have been able to secure this critical supply for Australia,” Mr. Tehan said.

“We will continue to strengthen our close relationships around the world to support and further Australia’s interests.”

Back in 2011, trucks were mandated to use AdBlue to limit the amount of toxic nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere. It is injected into the exhaust systems of modern diesel engines to reduce emissions. Without it, trucks cannot legally be driven on Australian roads.