BASF is donating 100 million protective masks to Germany as part of the company’s Helping Hands campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will also donate one million masks to the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, where its corporate headquarters is located. The masks will be purchased in China and prepared for shipment to Germany.
BASF expects the first delivery of masks to Frankfurt airport at the beginning of next week where they will be given to Jens Spahn, Federal Minister of Health, and Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate.
“An emergency situation such as this can only be managed by all of us together,” said Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors. “We are therefore using our purchasing networks and logistics in China to help.”
BASF says it will shoulder the costs of purchasing and transporting the masks, which will be distributed by the Federal Ministry of Health and, in Rhineland-Palatinate, by the State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Welfare.
BASF says another focus it has on fighting COVID-19 is the production of hand sanitiser, with new capacities it created at sites such as Ludwigshafen, Düsseldorf and Münster-Hiltrup, which can produce up to one million litres of hand sanitiser with raw materials. 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.
Sanitising products are now also being distributed free of charge in Germany through the digital marketplace of VCI – the German Chemical Industry Association. The company says it has also started producing hand sanitiser in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey and the United States in order to donate them. BASF says it currently provides around 175,000 litres of sanitiser per week globally free of charge.
“BASF is closely connected with its neighbours and society at its sites,” said Brudermüller. “This help is a matter of course for us. A special thanks goes to the many employees who show exemplary commitment.”
The company also thanked the authorities who granted the necessary special permits without any extra work. New raw materials, such as bioethanol, were also approved to produce sanitising products.