Top!Blue – a new AdBlue supplier
B&CB interviews the man behind the AdBlue name about his new venture
Antonio de Bruijn was the man behind the introduction of AdBlue to these shores, actually registering the AdBlue name itself. After a brief departure from this business, he is now back and with him is a new name in AdBlue supply: Top!Blue.
Chris Peat spoke to Antonio, the founding Executive Chairman of the new company and David Ansorena, its MD, to find out more about this new concern.
Man behind AdBlue
In 2003, Antonio registered the AdBlue trademark and then in 2004 transferred it to the German Association of Car and Truck producers (VDA). As a result, the name became the generic term within the European industry for the product AUS32, now governed by a clear set of ISO-led quality specification and manufacturing processes. Mr de Bruijn then became founder of GreenChem one of the largest suppliers of AdBlue in Europe.
After Antonio left the role of CEO of GreenChem, he started retailing Automotive Grade Urea across the globe. His return to the UK AdBlue market was spurred by his supply partners from Sinopec, one of China’s largest petrochemical companies and a global Top 20 business by turnover. Antonio said he had ‘good memories’ of working in the UK, which aided in his decision to come back.
Back to the UK
Discussions with his Chinese partners into how he would introduce this new company started in the first half of 2014. The process of going from first concepts to actually activating the plans took place very quickly, according to Antonio, describing his Far Eastern partners as being ‘very hands on’ when it came to rolling the project out.
Top!Blue, which is part owned by a subsidiary of Sinopec, starts operations in November this year. It is a joint venture between AMB International and Sichuan Meifeng Chemical Ind Co, a large Automotive Grade Urea (AGU) manufacturer and a subsidiary of Sinopec. AMB International, of which Mr de Bruijn is also a founding director, is now thought to be one of the world’s largest distributors of AGU. It has operations in all continents. Together with Meifeng it is exporting AGU worldwide.
In the UK, it will have no less than six blending plants for its AdBlue product in service by the end of the year. These will be located in the London area, Bristol, the Midlands, the north west, the Hull area and Newcastle. A seventh site is planned too, which will be located in Scotland and be operational next year.
David Ansorena said, ‘All of our UK blending facilities are ISO9001 accredited and will manufacture AdBlue according to strict quality control procedures. The manufacture of AdBlue with high quality raw materials and to the highest quality standards are synonymous with Top!Blue. Our customers are guaranteed to receive batch to batch consistency and full traceability to ISO22241. Certificates of analysis will be published and made available to customers through our website.’
Set to triple
With the introduction of Euro6, the market for AdBlue is growing. Antonio said the market for it in the UK is set to triple by 2025. There are already two big, dominant players on the scene in this country, leading some to view it as a saturated market. Antonio believes that despite the market already being well covered there is still ‘room for improvement’ and that Top!Blue provides a ‘real alternative’.
David said, ‘Many may wonder why we are entering what seems to be a saturated market for AdBlue in the UK truck and bus fleet market but it has strong attraction for us. We know we can deliver excellent value thanks to being vertically integrated and offer an enhanced logistics chain through having the most efficient supply set up in the UK market. The timing of our entry appears to be right as market volume for AdBlue is expected to triple in the next decade and customers deserve further reliable supply choices.’
He added, ‘We will be reaching out to major fleets and have a complete service to offer, including innovative solutions which do not currently exist in the market. Our investment in creating seven UK blending operations demonstrates our commitment to the market and intention to become a major AdBlue market supplier.’
Top!Blue can provide customers with 3,000 or 6,000litre AdBlue storage tanks and can install these units along with integrated dispensing equipment. These storage and dispensing systems have been available since the inception of the AdBlue market and have been developed to become the industry standard across Europe and beyond.
Top!Blue makes bulk deliveries in road tankers, mainly operated by a third party, directly to these fully bonded AdBlue storage and dispensing units. The company provides customers with an automatic stock control service linked to a telemetric system. The telemetry system means customers do not need to order new AdBlue supplies. The company can adjust delivery services to maintain agreed stock levels and provide tank maintenance over time if necessary.
Top!Blue has further plans in the pipeline, according to Antonio. However, for the time being it is to focus on tackling the UK market. Antonio said, ‘I believe that the Top!Blue offer brings a new dimension to the British AdBlue market and that we can provide vehicle operators with innovations and a more efficient solution than is currently available. Our team, with the unrivalled backing of our colleagues at Sinopec, have a unique understanding of the product and how to supply it efficiently through local operations. Besides efficiency we will challenge the market to improve customer service.’