South Australian packaging manufacturer Detmold Group will produce 145 million surgical and respirator masks at its Adelaide factory to help with efforts against the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal government and the South Australian government reached a deal with the company which will see it employ an extra 160 staff. One hundred million of the masks are for the National Medical Stockpile, and 45 million will go to SA Health.
Detmold Group CEO Alf Ianniello said his company is proud to be stepping in to help during this unprecedented health crisis.
“Detmold is a South Australian company with a long history of employing locals, so to be able to assist with both flattening the curve in this time of crisis and helping keep South Australians in work is immensely rewarding,” Ianniello said.
“Work has already commenced on the manufacturing facility which is located in Brompton, South Australia and production will start by May of this year. We expect to have the capacity to manufacture over 20 million masks per month by June, and the facility will produce both surgical masks and respirator masks.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said Detmold is the latest in a line of Aussie companies rising to the challenge that the pandemic presents.
“This is a fantastic example of how our strong manufacturing base in Australia puts us in a position to be able to make more of the medical supplies we need during the outbreak of the virus,” she said.
“We have a sufficient supply of masks at the moment, but this work will ensure we sustain that supply over the months ahead.”
Andrews said the new production line at Detmold wouldn’t be up and running “overnight”.
"That’s why we’re attacking this challenge from all angles, including continuing work to secure further masks out there in the market. This agreement also shows the great collaboration on display between the different levels of government and we will continue to work with the states and territories to secure the supplies we need,” Andrews said.
“It’s important to stress, though, this is not just about increasing the supply of our masks and other supplies. We need all Australians to play their part and follow our strict social distancing rules to help slow the spread and ease demand.”
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the announcement is a great example of state and federal governments working together to fight the spread of Covid-19.
“This is part of the government’s strong plan for securing South Australian jobs and protecting our healthcare workers and the community against the spread of COVID-19,” Marshall said.
“Through this partnership we can be confident we will have an uninterrupted supply of respirator and surgical masks to provide our doctors and nurses working on the frontline.”