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Diesel exhaust fluid in short supply stops buses next week

Diesel exhaust fluid in short supply stops buses next week

Posted November. 06, 2021 07:12,   

Updated November. 06, 2021 07:12


A shortage of diesel exhaust fluid, crucial to diesel-fueled vehicles, will inevitably cause disruption in buses, one of the most popular public transits, in some parts of South Korea starting from early next week. Cargo truck drivers for parcel delivery and logistics are highly likely to stop running as well. Concerns are growing over the lack of diesel exhaust fluid as it will create a ripple effect across almost all fields of everyday life such as logistics, construction, cultivation and waste collection.

An inventory of diesel exhaust fluid required for 34.8 percent of 45,024 bus lines across the nation will run out by the end of this year, according to an analysis published by The Dong-A Ilbo. The figure is based on the inventory status of diesel exhaust fluid for nationwide bus lines provided by an association of national bus and transportation businesses.

Some bus lines may go out of operation very soon as some bus companies only had three days’ inventory as of Friday in Gyeonggi and North Jeolla provinces. There is an increasing concern that citizens in rural and remote areas will see the biggest inconvenience in the country with no access to buses available at all given that as high as 77.2 percent of diesel exhaust fluid is used in such distant regions.

Cargo truck drivers struggle to get as much as the lacking resource possible. They wait in a long line to gas stations to fuel their trucks, resulting in a severe traffic jam nearby. Individual business owners who run delivery trucks and small-sized cargo vehicles feel their hands tied, lamenting that the resource shortage is an emergency situation that makes it hard for them to work.

South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Friday announced to operate an emergency check system on a daily basis with a designated team set up jointly by secretaries to stabilize supplies of diesel exhaust fluid. Chief of Economics Ahn Il-hwan leads the special team with secretaries of the policy team, the national security room, etc. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy plans to request improvements to China via a supply response support center in charge of materials, parts and equipment based on data collected on the status of import contracts of the related industry and specific causes of such delay.

Hyung-Seok Seo skytree08@donga.com · Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com