Ethanol stocks repurposed to provide urgent supply of hand sanitiser -Updated 27/03


Ethanol stocks repurposed to provide urgent supply of hand sanitiser


Thousands of litres of local ethanol production will be repurposed from its intended use as a fuel additive to fill a supply shortage of an ingredient needed for the manufacture of hand sanitiser, according to NXP, the country’s largest supplier to the commercial cleaning industry and government agencies.

It says that one new supply channel will see 50,000 litres of ethanol made available, enough to manufacture sufficient quantities of hand sanitiser to meet the immediate needs of essential service organisations such as police, schools and healthcare workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ethanol is a key ingredient in the production of hand sanitiser, and a nationwide supply shortage has brought local production to a standstill.

Joe Taylor, CEO of NXP says, in a media release, that the new volumes of product will be prioritised for essential services.

“While the new ethanol supply is a welcome relief to our local manufacturer, it will not be enough to fill the demand shortage across all industries.

“The next production run will, however, help meet the needs of the healthcare sector and essential organisations such as NZ Police, NZ Defence Force and our schools,” he says.

Taylor says the repurposing of the ethanol supplies was a joint effort between Gull and his company.

“Bringing all parties into the discussion has helped us work through the logistical barriers to reallocating existing production.”

Meanwhile Fonterra states on its website that it is making 250,000 litres of its high-grade ethanol available to New Zealand companies for use in the production of hand sanitiser.

“We’re also increasing ethanol production at one of our plants to help with the availability of hand sanitiser, with a target of producing an extra 220,000 litres.

“Gull are already doing their part and we are working with them on testing a further 250,000 litres of their fuel grade ethanol to ensure it is suitable to be used for their sanitiser business.

“We also are working with the Government on their priorities for front line services,” the Fonterra website notes.

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