The company OZ Health Plus, Queensland/Australia, will establish Australia’s first manufacturing plant to make the critical fine plastic material used in most protective face masks.
OZ Health Plus has purchased a plant of the Nonwoven business unit of the Manmade Fibers segment of Oerlikon Management AG, Pfäffikon/Switzerland, to establish a Queensland-based production plant for spun-bond and meltblown nonwovens. These fabrics are essential for Australia’s face mask manufacturers, who currently produce about 500 million medical and industrial masks per year. However the fabrics have to be imported from overseas and access to these materials has been severely disrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Oerlikon’s German-based business unit Oerlikon Nonwoven has now executed legal and commercial arrangements to supply the specialized machinery which can manufacture the nonwoven material locally. The same machinery is used to make almost all face masks material manufactured in Europe. The new plant will commence operations in April 2021, with a second stage planned for late 2021. The Oerlikon Nonwoven plant can produce meltblown fabrics for masks, along with other medical and non-medical grade products, filtration products, sanitary items, antiseptic wipes and more.