Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) said on Thursday (April 9) that the chartered flight from China carrying a mask-manufacturing machine and meltblown non-woven fibre has arrived in Thailand.
Recently CP’s senior chairman Dhanin Chearavanont said he has invested about Bt100 million to build a factory to produce surgical face masks for medical personnel and the general public. These masks will be distributed for free.
CP officials said the import of the machine and material has been tough because countries are now competing for mask-manufacturing equipment because they need to fight their own Covid-19 battles.
“Also, there are 70 per cent fewer flights to and from China and the flight schedules are not fixed. This is why CP had to charter a flight to ensure the material and the machine arrives in time,” a CP official said.
CP reckons it will take about a week to assemble the production line and test the machine before full-blown production can begin.
“As CP’s senior chairman has said before, the factory will be able to produce 100,000 masks per day or 3 million pieces per month,” the official said.
The official added that the meltblown non-woven fibre is important because it serves as a barrier to viruses, adding that it is becoming more and more difficult to find this material and its price has risen 10-fold. Hence, the official said, CP has had to coordinate with its networks and partners worldwide to procure the material.
“According to international production standards, a face mask has three layers – a green spunbound material with hydrophobic coating to make it waterproof, a white meltblown non-woven fibre to make it virus proof and a lining of white spunbound non-woven material,” the official added.