UAE - "To date, we have already supplied N95 masks to those on the UAE’s frontline, including healthcare workers and emergency response personnel, and have further orders until the end of the year from other UAE entities," said Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata Manufacturing under Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor.
"Our partnership with Honeywell has enabled Strata to establish the first production line for N95 masks in the Arabian Gulf region, minimising the need for masks to be imported from oversees producers. The facility is capable of producing 90,000 units per day and we are committed to fulfilling the country’s needs and have a goal of being able to produce quantities that will support international countries," he explained.
Asked about the company’s aim to transform the UAE into an exporter of N95 masks, Abdulla said, "Our focus is on meeting local demand initially and supporting the UAE government’s efforts. However, we are thoroughly assessing international demand, and once we are in a position to do so, we will explore exporting additional quantities to support the global effort." He added, "We are aware that access to PPE (personal protection equipment) is one of the biggest challenges facing countries and international organisations in their efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19." With regards to the production process, he said that the product had received all the necessary certification from various local and international quality standards authorities.
"To oversee the production line, and ensure we realise our commitments and adhere to international regulations, we have started with 10 technicians and currently have more than 30 technicians working on the project, supervised by an Emirati, Maryam Hareb Al Nayadi who has been with Strata since 2011." Asked about the cost effectiveness of the product, Abdulla said, "Through local production, we are able to have a considerable impact on reducing previous costs incurred through importing N95 masks such as shipping, other logistical costs, warehouse storage, transport and tariff charges.
"Producing these masks within the UAE for local consumption therefore presents a cost-effective solution, especially at this critical time when demand for PPE is high," said the CEO.
"The initiative to start the respirator production was part of Mubadala’s ‘#WeAreDedicated’ campaign, a group-wide initiative, created in response to the current health situation.
"The campaign aims to coordinate initiatives and efforts across its business platforms and assets to support communities locally and internationally and limit the spread of the pandemic," Abdulla added.
"By utilising our manufacturing expertise, we are in a position join this fight and address a growing domestic demand for PPE. We are developing further initiatives continuously and Strata’s response strategy is constantly evolving, with an ultimate objective of helping the rest of the world recover from this crisis. We are confident that by working together, we will collectively emerge as a stronger and more resilient community," the CEO explained.
"Strata is renowned for its manufacturing excellence and quality, and we are confident that our expertise will greatly contribute to the global fight against COVID-19 and help protect frontline workers," he concluded.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.