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Facemask production at Grimsby fibre plant

Hygiene Austria is to start the production of face masks in Grimsby, UK, potentially creating around 60 new jobs

20th May 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Grimsby, UK


Hygiene Austria is to start the production of face masks in Grimsby, UK, potentially creating around 60 new jobs.

In May, the newly founded company, a joint venture between fibre producer Lenzing and Palmers, started the production of face masks in Austria. The product range includes mouth-nose safety masks, FFP2-masks as well as coloured face masks for children.

“The aim of this joint venture is to provide the residents of Austria and Europe with the best possible protection through locally manufactured, high-quality and certified products,” said Stefan Doboczky, CEO of Lenzing. The response at the start was enormous and numerous companies contacted us within just a few hours to place orders worth millions of euros.”

From the very beginning, the founders of Hygiene Austria intended to supply protective solutions not only to Austrian citizens, but also abroad.

“The demand in the UK for protective masks is massively driven by the consequent handling of Covid-19,” explained Tino Wieser of Palmers. “The supply chain, however, is complex and serving the UK market from Austria is costly. We therefore decided to implement the same approach as we did in Vienna – we pulled up our sleeves, started organising machinery and a well working raw material supply chain in order to commence producing face masks in the UK as soon as possible.”

 “Sourcing PPE for our frontline workers is a key priority for our government,” Ranil Jayawardena, the UK’s International Trade Minister. “Alongside our efforts in international procurement, it is excellent that we have been able to assist companies from overseas to invest in Britain too, leading to domestic production of vital supplies.”

As a production site, the Lenzing facilities in Grimsby, in the Yorkshire and Humber region, were the best option.

“We are eager to play a leading role to ensure the primary health care to the UK population as a key supplier teaming up with our National Health Service (NHS),” said Phil Munson, operations director at the Grimsby plant. Moreover, we can count on highly experienced service and maintenance personnel here in Grimsby.”

As in Austria, new jobs will be created in Grimsby. Phil Munson estimates that within the next three months there will be approximately 60 new positions created.

The set-up of the Hygiene Austria operation in Wiener Neudorf will serve as a blueprint for the production in Grimsby, with the experience gained will allowing an even faster and smoother production start. Production is planned to start at the end of May with a monthly capacity of 10 million pieces.

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