“At the height of the crisis, in the spring of 2020, the leaders of European countries realised that they no longer needed to rely on external sources of supply for surgical masks, which are essential to guarantee the protection of everyone, starting with medical staff,” explains Céline Vuarnesson, managing director of Textilcord Steinfort. “We wanted to respond to the European desire to relocate the manufacturing of these products and guarantee their supply.”
Established in Luxembourg in 1965 and specialising in the manufacturing of reinforcing fabrics for tyres, the company has announced the installation of a new production line. The €700,000 invested, 80% of which was provided by the state, will enable the company to produce 20m masks per year.
“We have scaled the production, taking into account the expected market fluctuations, linked in particular to seasonality,” Vuarnesson says. “Beyond the crisis, we want to make this new activity sustainable. We can expect demand to remain strong in the months and years to come.”
The factory, owned by Indorama, can rely on another group entity, Avgol, which directly supplies the filter material for the masks. The company is in the process of adding equipment to add a virucide onto the outer layer of the mask, a solution developed by Molecular Plasma Group.