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 announced that its manufacturing sites in Auburn, Michigan; South Charleston, West Virginia; Seneffe, Belgium; and Hortolândia, Brazil possess the necessary raw material handling, mixing and packaging capabilities and will produce hand sanitizer. Dow’s site in Stade, Germany already has 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 its sites. Dow’s asset flexibility allows for a high volume of sanitizer to be produced with little to no impact to normal operations.
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 (7 metric tons) of hand sanitizer per week, which equates to nearly 30,000 8-oz. 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 (200 metric tons), or the equivalent of more than 880,000 8-oz. bottles. Hand sanitizer will be produced for about four weeks in the four Dow sites just 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 front line and ensuring Dow’s manufacturing facilities continue to run safely. First deliveries are expected to begin this week.
Hand sanitizer will be donated to the following entities:
- State of Michigan
- THRIVE (Transforming Health Regionally in a Vibrant Economy), a co-led initiative between the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, for distribution to area hospitals and first responders in the Great Lakes Bay Region
- State of West Virginia
- City of Charleston and South Charleston, West Virginia
- Federal Government of Belgium
- Public hospitals in the cities of Campinas, Hortolândia and Jundiaí, Brazil