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Swiss firm helps reduce shortage of disinfectant in Bavaria

Disinfectant has been missing from many company store shelves in Euorpe following the outbreak of the coronavirus.  (Keystone/Anthony Anex)

The Swiss chemical company Clariant has started monthly production of two million litres of disinfectant at its facilities in neighbouring Germany amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a joint venture with Germany’s CropEnergies, Clariant is using its available infrastructure in Bavaria to blend the necessary ingredients, notably ethanol, into disinfectant, the Swiss company said.

“This allows the company to fulfill close to two-thirds of the monthly target demand of the Bavarian state,” said a statementexternal link published on Tuesday.

Clariant said it offered its contribution at cost price. The production of up to ten million litres of disinfectant over the next three months for hospitals is financed by a crisis fund set up by Germany’s southern state of Bavaria.

Observers say the shortfall of disinfectant in many European countries has prompted a scramble, with companies which normally produce alcoholic beverages also pitching in.

The announcement comes amid reports that Switzerland risks a shortage of raw materials to make disinfectants after the government abandoned its emergency reserve of 10,000 tonnes of ethanol two years ago.

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