New Hand Sanitiser Plant to Be Built in the UK to Combat Coronavirus Spread – Will It Help Demand in the Industry?

A new hand sanitiser plant is to be built in the UK within 10 days in a new project launched by the UK’s third richest man, Jim Ratcliffe and his chemical company, INEOS.

In a bid to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus), the UK’s third richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has announced his intentions to build a new hand sanitiser plant in the UK within just 10 days and a second factory to be built in Germany in order to produce more supplies for the public, health services and retailers.

The announcement follows what has been an unprecedented spike in demand for hygiene and cleaning products, both from larger retailers and office supplies resellers who also specialize in facilities management products such as Banner and Office Products.

Items such as hand sanitisers, antibacterial wipes, cleaning sprays, safety gloves and soap have all been in short supply since the pandemic made its way to the UK, with re-stocking solutions and increased levels of production required in order to keep hygiene products readily available.

With many resellers and retailers ensuring that these products are being regularly supplied to the NHS and to healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics, could the new hand sanitiser plant planned to be constructed in the UK further support this current rise in demand within the industry?

INEOS in Good Position to Produce and Distribute Supplies

To contribute to the ongoing efforts of the NHS healthcare system currently treating patients infected by COVID-19, sanitiser bottles produced by the new hand sanitiser plant, will be provided to hospitals free of charge.

The plant is also intending to make ‘pocket’ versions of the hand sanitisers available for public and personal use, with Ratcliffe already in talks with several retail outlets located across Europe.

Chemicals giant INEOS, chaired and founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, spoke of how the products will be produced in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) specifications and will be specifically designed in order to kill bacteria and viruses when used.

Ratcliffe added:

“It is becoming increasingly clear that hand to mouth infection is a significant cause of Coronavirus contagion and INEOS is Europe’s largest manufacturer of the core ingredient of hand sanitiser.

We will build two factories in the UK and Germany in 10 days to produce very substantial supplies.

INEOS is a company with enormous resources and manufacturing skills.

If we can find other ways to help in the coronavirus battle, we are absolutely committed to playing our part.”

Due to its standing as Europe’s largest producer of two of the key materials required in order to create hand sanitiser at hospital grade levels, INEOS are uniquely placed in order to be able to shift into the mass production and distribution of new hand sanitiser supplies from their sites in Scotland and Northern Germany.

Current Global Shortage of Hand Sanitiser

The announcement made by Ratcliffe and INEOS comes off news of a global shortage of hand sanitiser and hygiene supplies, thought to be caused by stockpiling and increasing usage of supplies on a day-to-day basis.

News of short supplies for hand sanitiser products has also prompted other companies to try and do their part to contribute to combating the current Coronavirus pandemic, with French luxury giant LVMH commenting recently that they will switch production of their perfume and cosmetic factories to begin producing new hand sanitiser supplies instead.

The new factories built by Ratcliffe and INEOS are expected to produce 1 million bottles of fresh hand sanitiser a month in order to keep supplies readily available.

Sam Rose