As the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill in the early months of 2020, INEOS was quick to respond, to ensure that it kept all its employees safe and healthy, and kept all its vital manufacturing processes working.
It diverted resources away from non-essential work at sites in America, mainland Europe and the UK to keep the flow of essential chemicals to those making vital medical materials, disinfectants and equipment. “We have never experienced demand for products that support health and hygiene like this,” said INEOS’ Group Communications Director Tom Crotty.
Many of its products are essential to everyday health and wellbeing as well as the fight against the virus- including chlorine for making 98% of the UK’s water drinkable, chlor-alkali for soap, household bleach for disinfecting surfaces, phenol for aspirin and paracetamol, and PVC for IV bags, blood bags, ventilators and disposable protective equipment. But INEOS was quick to realise that the large volumes of ethanol and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) it produces in Europe would become vital to stopping the spread of the Coronavirus as ingredients of disinfectant hand gel.
Always ready to rise to a challenge, INEOS responded to the British Government’s call for support in fighting the pandemic by offering to build new production lines to create vast quantities of medical grade hand sanitizer for giving away free to hospitals.
Within 10 days, it created new production lines for hand gel at Newton Aycliffe in the UK, Herne in Germany, Etain and Lavera in France as well as in the US. Each site can produce a million bottles of hand gel a month at capacity.
INEOS committed to meeting the needs of front line medical and care services by providing millions of free bottles free of charge to thousands of hospitals and other frontline services in the UK, Europe and US during the first peak of the crisis.
Following the success of this initiative, the company has now created a new INEOS Hygienics business to respond to increased public need for disinfecting products for the foreseeable future.