Strata Manufacturing has announced that more than 90% of the employees in the N95 mask production line at its factory in Al Ain are Emirati youth, adding that a majority of them are citizens. As of now, the company is producing 1.6 million N95 masks per month, at a rate of 53.3 thousand masks per day, in partnership with Honeywell company. Significantly, 80% of the production is exported to other countries, including the United States and Japan, while the remaining 20% is consumed by the local market.
Honeywell has reported that the UAE is exporting more than 42.6 thousand N95 masks to other countries every day through the only production line (for masks) in the region. Furthermore, more than 10.6 thousand masks are directed for domestic consumption in the UAE.
Ismail Ali Abdulla, the CEO of Strata Manufacturing, has noted that over 90% of the total workers in the production line for N95 masks at its factory in Al-Ain are young Emiratis. Speaking to Emirates Today, Abdullah added that a number of citizens working in Strata have been provided necessary training about the techniques of manufacturing masks. He added that all Emirati citizens working as employees in the company received their training to manufacture the masks with high efficiency within five days only. He noted that was possible because of their enthusiasm for the project and their awareness about the significance of N95 masks in view of the shortage of the product during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Abdullah further explained that Strata is working in cooperation with Honeywell to produce 1.6 million masks per month currently. At a rate of 53,333 masks per day, the company has a production capacity of 30 million masks annually. He underlined that the locally produced masks are exported to more than 10 countries, led by Japan, the United States, Egypt, Morocco, and Luxembourg among others. This means that more than 80% of the production is exported outside the UAE, while the local market consumes 20% of the remaining production.
Abdullah noted that the production of N95 masks in Al Ain is the first-of-its-kind in the region currently. The primary aim of the initiative is to protect the first line of defence in the UAE, the Arab region, and countries across the world from COVID-19 repercussions.
In this regard, he underlined that the production line in Al Ain was set up in just four weeks, despite the fact that a massive production line of this capacity requires equipment that varies between a year and a year and a half under normal circumstances.
As per studies conducted by Strata, the price of N95 masks is expected to remain constant in the coming period. However, it can witness a slight decrease by the end of this year. This means that local production contributes to controlling the market and competitive prices during the time of high competition.
Abdullah is also expecting the demand for the masks to remain steady during the current year and most of the next year. As a result, the masks production line will continue to provide a part of its production for manufacturing processes in order to fulfill the needs of the first line of defense till 2023.
Abdullah highlighted Strata's partnership with the Mubadala Healthcare Company to provide N95 masks to its affiliated hospitals. At the same time, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Takashima provincial government in Japan to provide N95 masks to the region through Strata Manufacturing.
Abdullah revealed that an expansion of the manufacturing processes in the masks production line is also under talks such that raw materials used in mask production are also manufactured locally in Al Ain.
For his part, Miroslav Kavidesev, Vice President and General Manager of Safety and Productivity Solutions at Honeywell, said that the UAE is currently exporting more than 42,666 masks to countries globally on a daily basis, while the rest are directed for consumption in the local market.
He underlined that Mubadala is one of the most important partners for Honeywell in the region. He further noted that discussions are underway to expand the partnership between Honeywell and Mubadala to manufacture other products using digital technology and modern solutions, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing.
He also stated that Honeywell is currently producing over 120,000 personal protection products and exporting them to countries across the world. This was possible after the company expanded its manufacturing capacity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strata Manufacturing CEO confirmed that the pandemic increased the importance of local manufacturing due to a shortage of basic commodities. He pointed out that around 80 countries prevented exporting personal protective equipment to other countries during the pandemic due to a lack of production to cover their domestic need. He further stressed Strata's keenness to ensure the production of personal protective equipment with speed, high efficiency, and the lowest possible cost, in view of the shortage of products during the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak.