Oz Health Plus has purchased machinery from Germany’s Oerlikon Nonwoven for producing fabric for medical masks, filling what it says is an important supply chain gap for Australia.
According to Oz Health, the machinery will come online in April next year, and be able to produce enough material for 500 million medical and industrial masks a year.
“Australia has access to raw polypropylene feedstock but lacks the plant to convert that raw material to specialised spunbond and meltblown fabrics,” said the company’s director, Darren Fooks.
Fooks added that the equipment will shrink local mask supply chains from thousands to tens of kilometres.
Oerlikon said the same machinery is used to make nearly all the face mask material produced in Europe, and can be used in other items such as antiseptic wipes and filtration products.
The new facility will include 15,000 square metres of manufacturing space, and employ 100 full-time workers after a second stage in is finished in late 2021.
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