|MOSCOW (MRC) — Hexion (Columbus, Ohio) has repurposed its manufacturing site at Letmathe, Germany, to produce hand sanitizer, with a second facility at Bunbury, Western Australia, set to start sanitizer production in the next few weeks, reported Chemweek.
The company is “leveraging its global manufacturing footprint and collective resources of its associates to help combat the challenges associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” it says. Hexion’s site at Letmathe has repurposed mixing machines typically used to produce other products, with hand sanitizer now being produced. The company’s joint venture site at Bunbury “is taking the final steps to begin producing in the coming weeks,” it adds.
The two sites are expected to initially produce approximately 25 metric tons of sanitizer, with the company saying four of its other sites in Texas, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy have already produced smaller “laboratory-scale” batches for use by Hexion associates. It has also contributed its chemical products or donated personal protective equipment (PPE) wherever possible for COVID-19 relief, it says.
“While we are saddened by the devastating impact of the coronavirus globally, we are resilient as a company and committed to helping support relief efforts whenever we can,” said George Knight, Hexion acting CEO and executive vice president and CFO. Hexion said in a regulatory filing 30 March that chairman and CEO Craig Rogerson had taken a temporary medical leave of absence due to a condition consistent with COVID-19. Knight has assumed Rogerson’s responsibilities until he returns from his leave.
As MRC informed earlier, in mid-January 2020, Hexion announced force majeure for the supply of bisphenol A (BPA) from the plant in Deer Park (Deer Park, Texas, USA). It was expected that this enterprise with a capacity of 140 thousand tons of BPA per year will resume its work in mid-February.
Such companies, as Hexion, Huntsman and Olin are large manufacturers of BPA and epoxy in the United States.
Bisphenol A is used as a hardener in the production of plastics, as well as plastic-based products. It is one of the key monomers in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate (PC).
According to MRC’s ScanPlast report, overall estimated consumption of PC granules totalled 12,600 tonnes in the Russian market in January-February 2020 (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus), compared to 9,600 tonnes a year earlier. Demand increased by 31%.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Hexion Inc. is a global leader in thermoset resins. Hexion Inc. serves the global adhesive, coatings, composites and industrial markets through a broad range of thermoset technologies, specialty products and technical support for customers in a diverse range of applications and industries.