Yara's AdBlue business, under the Air1 brand, is growing steadily in Africa despite a lack of the usual market driver - emissions legislation.
AdBlue is an operating fluid used in vehicles. It is a 32.5% solution of high-purity urea in de-mineralized water; used with Selective Catalytic Reduction technology (SCR) it reduces emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from the exhaust of diesel vehicles.
The international market for NOx reduction solutions is mainly driven by new and stricter environmental legislation. The EU and USA in particular have implemented increasingly stricter regulations in this field, and more countries are to follow, as challenges related to harmful emissions to air are growing in all hemispheres. Yara provides a complete portfolio of offerings, from technical equipment, service and maintenance, as well as reliable supplies of reagents. Our plant in Sluiskil in the Netherlands is the largest single site producing AdBlue in the world.
Supplying the FIFA World Cup
"Things are progressing in Africa indeed," says Jeroen Schoonderbeek, Operations Director for Yara’s Industrial, Business Unit Environmental Solutions - Automotive. “With no emissions legislation in place this growth is promising, in my view."
Sales began back in 2010, with one of the first deliveries being related to the football World Cup in South Africa. "In at least one of the host cities Volvo supplied new buses for public transport - and we supplied the AdBlue. This supply is ongoing," Jeroen notes.
Sales continue to grow year on year, related to the use of AdBlue in new trucks and buses, used vehicles imported from e.g. Europe, and new agricultural tractors and machines and construction equipment. Even cars using AdBlue are already sold in Africa.
"Currently the majority of our sales are in southern Africa, where we have signed an agreement with Engen, who are a good fit as they have the same strong safety, quality and branding standards as Yara," Jeroen explains.
“Engen will be using Yara’s Air1 brand for AdBlue, and is preparing a full product launch in South Africa,” he adds. “This recent distributorship agreement with Engen, and the close cooperation we have with our existing African Yara sales teams, will ensure we are in position to help African customers’ businesses meet proposed legislation, which comes into effect in 2017.”
Making use of the Yara logistics system
A similar story is behind the start of AdBlue‘s business for Yara in Kenya, which started in 2012 thanks to connections with Yara East Africa Sales Manager Thomas Ambani. "We deal with transport companies for our fertilizer deliveries. They need AdBlue and we are naturally there to meet their needs, as well as preserve the environment.”
"Despite the lack of emission regulations on NOx today I am sure that in the near future local authorities will work on improving transport systems - using more environmentally friendly buses, as just one example," Jeroen adds. "Yara is present in most African countries. It means we are close to the market and able to meet the growing demand that will come from fleets.”