Braskem, producer of polyolefins and biopolymers, announced its enhanced support to meet the polypropylene raw material needs of medical manufacturing customers for the production of respiratory masks as well as protective medical gear.
Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO, stated, "As we all come together to address the unprecedented challenges facing our nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Braskem's commitment to meeting the needs of our medical manufacturing customers has never been stronger. We have deployed a range of measures across our manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia to secure the supply of essential grades of polypropylene polymers for the production of respiratory masks, protective medical gowns and other gear. In parallel, we have positioned 'live-in' manufacturing teams operating in isolation at key facilities, among other measures, to help ensure the health and safety of our team members who are working as an essential service throughout this crisis to keep these key supply lines running. On behalf of the entire Braskem team, I want offer our gratitude to all the first responders and essential employees working every day across industries for coming together to help protect and serve our communities."
Braskem partners require polypropylene (PP) for their manufacturing of healthcare and hygiene products that are critical right now in the fight against COVID-19, as well as countless other life-sustaining goods.
In response to the crisis, Braskem has shifted production line capacities to focus on the enhanced availability of the raw material for the most critical grades of homopolymers for nonwovens needed to make N-95 medical face masks and medical protective gear as well as other thermoforming grades for protective food packaging.
Living on site
At select manufacturing facilities across two states, Braskem has created resiliency teams of team members who volunteer to live on site at their respective plant site for a 28 day rotation. Braskem is recognizing and supporting these team members with enhanced employee compensation, onsite kitchens and supplies to sustain these resiliency teams as they continue to operate the manufacturing facilities in isolation. Additionally, Braskem has deployed stringent facility cleaning protocols, social distancing practices, restrictions on plant visitation, and where appropriate implemented fully remote working environments.
Braskem's U.S. polymer manufacturing facilities are designated as essential services by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.