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Dow to Produce Hand Sanitizer in Auburn, Michigan and South Charleston, West Virginia

03/31/2020
Dow reported its manufacturing sites in Auburn, Michigan; South Charleston, West Virginia; Seneffe, Belgium; and Hortolândia, Brazil possess the necessary raw material handling, mixing and packaging capabilities to produce hand sanitizer.

According to company officials, “Dow does not typically produce hand sanitizer, but a large portion of the required raw materials are readily available at Company sites. In addition, Dow’s asset flexibility allows for a meaningful volume of sanitizer to be produced with little to no impact to normal operations.”

Dow said it collaborated with officials in each of the locations to understand their needs and requirements. In the U.S., the Company worked with officials in Michigan and West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and the Department of Homeland Security. “These agencies provided useful, timely guidance as Dow completed the permitting, licensing and raw material procurement processes,” officials said.

Dow’s Auburn site has the capacity to produce approximately 15,000 pounds or 7 metric tons of hand sanitizer per week, which equates to nearly 30,000 eight-ounce bottles. Similar or greater volumes are expected to be produced at the other Dow locations.

When all of these locations are at full production, Dow explained its collective output is expected to reach more than 440,000 pounds, or the equivalent of more than 880,000 eight-ounce bottles. Production of hand sanitizer will occur for approximately four weeks in the four Dow sites announced today, after which time Dow will assess extending production based on raw material availability and market need.

All of the hand sanitizer that will be produced has been allocated with the majority for donation to health systems and government agencies for distribution, company officials said. Hand sanitizer will also be distributed to Dow production sites to help protect employees who are on the frontline and insuring Dow’s manufacturing facilities continue to run safely. First deliveries are expected to begin this week.

“We are proud to put our global assets to work to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The combined efforts of our five sites around the world enables us to produce and donate a tremendous amount of this much needed product to help protect human health and safety,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow’s CEO. “This effort has been made possible through the swift efforts of Team Dow, in collaboration with raw material suppliers, state and federal regulatory officials and volunteers. We intend to continue producing hand sanitizer as long as raw materials are available and supply is short.”

“We’ve seen an incredible amount of strength and courage of Michiganders during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s from communities donating food, money, and resources to those that need it or from businesses using their technology to manufacture personal protective equipment,” said Michigan Governor Whitmer. “This action from Dow and its hardworking employees will help us protect more Michigan families and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state. I’m proud to work with Dow and every business that steps up during this time to protect Michigan families.”

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