Brenntag plans urea distribution by 2010

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Brenntag North America, a urea distributor based in Reading, Pa., plans to deliver the additive to truckers running selective catalytic reduction engines in 2010, the company announced Wednesday, March 26, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Brenntag already has more than 120 locations across the United States and Canada able to make local deliveries, but more locations will be built once the 2010 engines come into service, the company said.

Initial supplies of urea – also known as diesel emissions fluid, or DEF — are expected to come to most trucks in 2.5-gallon jugs, enough to get an SCR-powered trucker 600 to 700 miles. Eventually, large above- or below-ground tanks of urea could become a common sight at truckstops, said Alan Smith, Brenntag North America business development manager. Discussions with truck stop chains are under way, Smith said.

“This is a moneymaker for truck stops in Europe,” where urea sells for about $2.80 U.S. per gallon, Smith said. “They do better with it than with diesel fuel.” The parent company of Brenntag North America is based in Mulheim, Germany.

“The rule of thumb is that DEF in America should cost maybe three-quarters of the price of diesel fuel, but that is very speculative at this time,” Smith said.

Brenntag North America also plans to offer “scalable solutions” to fleets of various sizes, Smith said.

“We are applying our experience and knowledge to successfully launch a customer-friendly package to manufacturers and fleet operators of SCR trucks,” said Chet Murphy, vice president of market development at Brenntag. “While North American operations have different challenges than in Europe, we don’t see any of these challenges as show-stoppers.”

“We helped build the infrastructure to deliver DEF to trucks in Europe, and we want to do the same thing here,” Smith said.