The Helping Hands programme has been launched by Ludwigshafen-based BASF with as aim to fight the pandemic worldwide, with activities ranging from hand sanitiser production to - now – the donation of face masks.
The company has committed a total of approximately €100 million to the effort, which includes activities and donations from local facilities around the world which are aimed at supporting thse communities.
The company first created capacity for the urgent production of hand sanitiser at Ludwigshafen, Düsseldorf and Münster-Hiltrup, a product not previously manufactured by BASF, but for which it sold some raw materials.
According to the company, enough raw materials were purchased to enable the production of 1 million litres of hand sanitiser. Around 150,000 litres have already been distributed free of charge to hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and around other BASF sites. Sanitizing products are now also being distributed free of charge via the digital marketplace of the German Chemical Industry Association, VCI, (Emergency Supply Sanitizer).
BASF has also started producing hand sanitiser at facilities in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey and the United States. Martin Brudermüller, chairman of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors noted that it was possible to start production thanks to the authorities, who granted the necessary special permits ‘without red tape’. New raw materials, such as bio-ethanol, were also approved for the production of sanitising products.
Now, BASF is donating 100 million protective masks to the Federal Republic of Germany. The company is also donating 1 million masks to Rhineland-Palatinate, where BASF is headquartered. The masks will be purchased in China and prepared for shipment to Germany and are scheduled to arrive at Frankfurt Airport at the beginning of next week.
“An emergency situation such as this can only be managed by all of us together,” said Brudermüller .“We are therefore using our purchasing networks and logistics in China to help.”
The masks will be distributed by the Federal Ministry of Health and, in Rhineland-Palatinate, by the state office for Social Affairs, Youth and Welfare.