Large-scale production aims to exceed the disinfection shortage in Sweden’s health care system
In early April, Malmö, Sweden-based specialty chemical and animal nutrition company Perstorp began large-scale production of hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant for the Swedish health care sector.
By converting one of its production plants, the company has the capacity to produce more than 2 million liters of these products per month, which is expected to exceed the health care sector’s disinfection shortage in Sweden during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The products are offered at cost price.
Feed Strategy: Tell me more about what Perstorp is doing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tony Toebak: Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have monitored the situation closely and several actions have been taken to protect our employees and at the same time avoid disruptions to our business.
The rapid development of COVID-19 has required us to find other ways of communicating and meeting with our valued customers and partners. We will continue to utilize and introduce digital solutions to secure efficient ways to communicate and collaborate.
Our production sites and offices around the world are following local regulations and have implemented precautionary measures accordingly to protect employees and visitors. Since the middle of March, customers are served by employees working from their home instead of our offices. Production sites have sharpened their safety routines, restricted acceptance of external visitors and transports to all Perstorp areas are checked and required to declare previous destinations.
FS: Does the company normally produce hand sanitizers and disinfectants, or is this new to the company?
TT: We do not. Typically, we produce molecules that are intermediate products for other companies to use in their processes. This venture is entirely new to the company. The initiative to produce sanitizers was due to acute shortage within the health care sector. Perstorp saw that our production capacity could make a real impact and decided to examine the possibility of producing sanitizer for the health care sector – at cost price. Thanks to close cooperation with authorities and partners, it was made possible. When there is no longer an acute shortage that normal suppliers can fill, Perstorp will no longer produce sanitizers.
FS: Why did Perstorp think it was important to do this kind of production?
TT: Health care professionals are some of the most important people in society today. We can’t have them be infected because there is a shortage of disinfectants. Not if we can help it. There was an acute shortage of sanitizers within the health care sector and Perstorp is one of the rare companies that had the capacity to produce the large quantities of sanitizers needed to help in the current crisis. When we realized we could, it became a moral obligation to do what we can as soon as we could.
FS: Does your company have any other relief efforts planned?
TT: There are currently no plans to add on efforts to the large-scale production of sanitizers.