Dow Chemical Expands Emergency Hand Sanitizer Production
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact around the world and needed medical, health and hygiene products are in short supply. After assessing the company’s capability to manufacture hand sanitizer at its facilities around the world, Dow Chemical's manufacturing sites in Auburn, Michigan; South Charleston, West Virginia; Seneffe, Belgium; and Hortolândia, Brazil will produce hand sanitizer, announces the company in a press release.
These locations join Dow’s site in Stade, Germany which already produced hand sanitizer for donation.
Dow does not typically produce hand sanitizer, but a large portion of the required raw materials are readily available at company sites. In addition, Dow’s asset flexibility allows for a meaningful volume of sanitizer to be produced with little to no impact to normal operations.
Dow collaborated with officials in each of the locations to understand their needs and requirements. In the U.S., the company worked with officials in Michigan and West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security. These agencies provided useful, timely guidance as Dow completed the permitting, licensing and raw material procurement processes.
Dow’s Auburn site has the capacity to produce approximately 15,000 pounds of hand sanitizer per week, which equates to nearly 30,000 eight-ounce bottles. Similar or greater volumes are expected to be produced at the other Dow locations. When all of these locations are at full production, Dow’s collective output is expected to reach more than 440,000 pounds, or the equivalent of more than 880,000 eight-ounce bottles. Production of hand sanitizer will occur for approximately four weeks in the four Dow sites announced, after which time Dow will assess extending production based on raw material availability and market need.
All of the hand sanitizer that will be produced has been allocated with the majority for donation to health systems and government agencies for distribution. Hand sanitizer will also be distributed to Dow production sites to help protect employees who are on the frontline and ensuring Dow’s manufacturing facilities continue to run safely. First deliveries are expected to begin this week.
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