Published 18.03.2022

The availability of the AdBlue additive and urea during the disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine

The markets and supply chains disrupted by the war in Ukraine may impact security of supply in a variety of ways. The National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) has monitored the situation related to security of supply at an intensified level since December 2021, in cooperation with operators in critical fields. Under the circumstances, the transport sector has expressed its concern over the availability of the AdBlue additive.

AdBlue is a urea water solution, and the import of the urea needed for it is currently slowing due to the sanctions imposed on Russia. This is significant for the functionality of Finnish transport logistics.

In the transport field, AdBlue is injected into the exhaust gas of lorries before the catalyser to ensure that the aftertreatment requirements for exhaust gases are met. Without the additive, the automation system essentially prevents the vehicle from moving. For heavy vehicles, the consumption of AdBlue is, on average, about 5% of the amount of fuel used.

Based on the situational picture survey of the National Emergency Supply Organisation, the availability of the AdBlue additive will deteriorate as early as during April. This would have detrimental effects on Finnish transport logistics.

For a period of roughly ten years, AdBlue systems have been installed in new diesel vehicles to ensure that the EU’s emission limits are met. Disabling the system temporarily by means of programming could be an option, but it is currently against the law. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is working with Traficom and EU experts to determine what to do about the regulation under these extraordinary circumstances.

AdBlue is also produced domestically, and the manufacturers have the capacity to increase the production volume and storage capacity in Finland. The National Emergency Supply Agency and the Finnish companies responsible for the production and distribution of AdBlue are looking into possibilities for increasing production and finding new channels for importing urea. With due consideration to the market situation, the National Emergency Supply Agency can also purchase the product into the state’s emergency stockpile, alongside the measures taken by commercial operators.