US-based energy company ExxonMobil has announced that it has successfully reconfigured production facilities in Louisiana to make medical-grade hand sanitiser.
The company is a major producer of isopropyl alcohol, a key ingredient for hand sanitiser, and it has already been ramping up monthly production, including an increase of about 3,000 tonnes at its Baton Rouge plant.
Much of this is shipped to other manufacturers, but the company now has the capacity to also make the end product itself. To achieve this, the company bought additional ingredients and modified the equipment at its facilities in Baton Rouge and Port Allen, the latter of which normally makes lubricants like spindle oil.
ExxonMobil’s CEO and chairman, Darren Woods, said:
“The ingenuity and dedication of our employees to develop a consumer-ready product in record time demonstrates ExxonMobil’s commitment to help those in need during the global pandemic. We’re focused on keeping our people and communities safe while supporting frontline responders and meeting customer needs.”
The company aims to initially produce 160,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, enough for millions of bottles. All of this will be donated to first responders and healthcare providers throughout the United States.
ExxonMobil also recently upped its monthly production of specialized polypropylene by some 1,000 tonnes, which is enough to make 20 million protective gowns or 200 million masks. It is also collaborating with the Global Center for Medical Innovation on a longer term solution to the shortage of personal protection equipment by developing reusable versions, such as for medical face masks and shields.