ExxonMobil ramps up coronavirus production for medical masks, hand sanitizer

It could enable production of up to 200 million medical masks plus 50 million bottles of hand sanitizer

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ExxonMobil is ramping up production to help in the fight against coronavirus.

The oil and gas company said Wednesday that it has increased manufacturing of raw materials needed to make medical masks, gowns and hand sanitizer, all considered essential equipment for health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Exxon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business, but Karen McKee, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, said in a statement: “We’re increasing our manufacturing capabilities to meet this critical need to help keep doctors, nurses and first responders healthy and safe. Our team has been working around the clock, applying our engineering and technical know-how and working with our customers to make this happen. We’re committed to doing our part to support the global response.”

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION45.91+1.31+2.94%

The company increased its capacity to make specialized polypropylene, used in medical masks and gowns, by roughly 1,000 tons per month. That’s enough to enable the production of up to 200 million medical masks or 20 million gowns, according to the statement.

The production of isopropyl alcohol for disinfectant and hand sanitizer products, on the other hand, has been increased by 3,000 tons per month, the company said, which is enough to produce up to 50 million 4-ounce bottles of medical-grade hand sanitizer.

Meanwhile, Exxon is awaiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a new face mask design, featuring a replaceable cartridge system with filtration fabric. If that design is approved, the company said it can produce 40,000 ready-to-use masks per hour.

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Exxon, along with the Global Center for Medical Innovation, is also supporting the development of more personal protective equipment. Earlier this month, the brands announced joint-development projects to manufacture reusable face shields and masks.

Exxon is not the only company pivoting to make medical equipment during the pandemic. The aerospace company Airbus recently said in a statement that most of its plants in Spain are now working together to make 3D-printed visor frames. Fashion brand Dior announced on Instagram that it opened a volunteer studio in France to produce medical masks. And the MyPillow company is refocusing 75 percent of its production to face covers.

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President Trump in March invoked the Defense Production Act to partner with private sector firms to ramp up production of critical medical supplies, including ventilators.

GM and Ventec Life Systems will build 1,000 ventilators by the end of April.

Exxon’s stock has increased by 21 percent in the last month.

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