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Comment COVID-19

Huntsman repurposes Australia site for sanitizer production

By Mary Page Bailey |

Huntsman Corp.’s (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.huntsman.com) manufacturing site near Melbourne, Australia, has become the company’s third location around the world to produce hand sanitizer for donation to health care and other critical facilities as part of the COVID-19 response. The Australia site’s first batch of hand sanitizer, a pallet of 27 15-liter containers, was provided free of charge to the Austin Hospital in Melbourne on April 7. Huntsman is among many companies applying their manufacturing capabilities to the fight against COVID-19, including ExxonMobil, Axalta,  BASF, PPG, Johnson Matthey, Lanxess and many more.

The team at the site collaborated with their colleagues in McIntosh, Alabama, and Monthey, Switzerland – where Huntsman is also producing hand sanitizer for donation – to learn best practices for cleaning and repurposing equipment to produce hand sanitizer.

Huntsman also partnered with one of its customers, Fortis Adhesives, Coatings & Specialties, to obtain the base alcohol needed for the first batch of hand sanitizer and to package and label the product in various sizes for end use.

The Melbourne site plans to produce 22,000 liters per week of the hand sanitizer, which is validated for use in hospitals as well as the domestic market through the Australia government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration exemption. In addition to initially providing the hand sanitizer free of charge to health care facilities, some of the product will be supplied to retail stores to satisfy high consumer demand. Huntsman will sell to retailers at prices which enable it to cover its costs only and won’t make a profit from the sales.

“Our recent experience in Switzerland and Alabama allowed us to move quickly in Australia to help fill an urgent community need,” said Peter Huntsman, Chairman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation. “We are grateful that through our global presence we can expand our contribution to the fight against this pandemic.”

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