Freight transport in Czechia threatened by shortage of AdBlue fuel additive
In addition to the rising cost of fuel, Czech road hauliers are also becoming concerned about a growing shortage of the AdBlue diesel fuel additive, the Czech News Agency reported this week. Without it, hauliers say the operation of most trucks is at risk.
According to distributors, demand for AdBlue has increased by 70 to 100 percent after several European producers announced a suspension of production due to high gas prices. This includes the largest AdBlue factory in the region, Slovak company Duslo, which belongs to the Agrofert Group.
AdBlue, which is produced as a by-product of fertiliser production, reduces nitrogen oxide emissions in exhaust gases. The key commodity for its production is gas.
All vehicles using AdBlue are equipped with an electronic system that prevents them from operating without this liquid, making it impossible to circumvent emission standards.
Czech hauliers warn that virtually all trucks, buses and construction machinery are at risk of stopping if the supply of the additive is interrupted.
According to them, almost no newly manufactured commercial vehicles can run without AdBlue to comply with the Euro 5 emission standard introduced in 2011, while many diesel passenger vehicles will also need it to operate under the Euro 6 standard.
According to data by the Czech Association of Petroleum Industry and Trade, consumption of AdBlue directly at petrol station forecourts increased to ten million litres in the first eight months of this year, up about 135 percent year-on-year.
The word AdBlue is currently the most searched term on the Czech price comparison website Heureka.cz and the demand in the product in October increased by tens of percent year-on-year.
In reaction to the situation, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek said he would recommend that the government secure reserves of AdBlue for the needs of the integrated rescue system.
Hauliers are currently also dealing with the gradual rise in fuel and energy prices, and there are also problems with shortages of some basic materials. According to the companies, transport prices could rise by up to a quarter by the end of the year.