LONDON (Reuters) - Chemicals manufacturer INEOS [INEOSG.UL] said on Tuesday it will build a hand sanitiser plant in France in 10 days to help meet a European shortage and has begun production at its new British and German plants ahead of schedule.
Last week, the privately-owned British firm said it would build plants in Britain and Germany to supply hospitals, schools, places of work, pharmacies and supermarkets, each producing 1 million sanitisers a month.
INEOS said its plants in north-east England and Germany have already started up, well within its previous 10-day timeframe, adding that free issue of hand santisers to Britain's National Health Service (NHS) had begun on Tuesday.
"It is becoming more and more evident that contact between the hands and the mouth is an important cause of contagion of Coronavirus," said Jim Ratcliffe, founder and Chairman of INEOS.
INEOS produces the two raw materials needed for sanitisers, isopropyl alcohol and ethanol.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)