Ethanol stocks repurposed to supply hand sanitiser

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Thousands of litres of local ethanol production will now be repurposed from its intended use as a fuel additive to fill a critical supply shortage of an ingredient needed for the manufacture of hand sanitiser.

The 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 Covid-19 outbreak.

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

Exports of ethanol were banned on Friday by the Australian government - putting further pressure on existing supplies.

Chief executive officer of NXP the country’s largest supplier to the commercial cleaning industry and government agencies, Joe Taylor says 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 New Zealand Police, New Zealand Defence Force and our schools," he says.

Joe says the repurposing of the ethanol supplies was a joint effort between Gull and NXP.

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

"We are most grateful to Gull for their support in helping New Zealand’s essential services through one of the toughest health care challenges the country has faced in recent memory,

"The current health care concerns facing New Zealand will require businesses to cooperate at all levels to ensure scarce resources are allocated where they are most needed.

"We will continue to work with our supply chains to ensure the country has a consistent supply of products like hand sanitiser and look to support our essential service providers wherever possible."

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