William Grant & Sons is shifting production at three of its distilleries to supply about five million litres of ethanol over the next eight weeks for the production of much-needed hand sanitiser.
This is to help protect people around the world from the coronavirus.
The company has confirmed that production of ethanol that conforms to World Health Organisation standards is now going ahead at its distilleries in Girvan in Scotland, Tullamore in Ireland, and plans are being put in place to meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards at Tuthilltown in New York State.
Girvan and Tullamore are producing ethanol to be supplied to a range of hand sanitiser manufacturers, while the smaller-scale Tuthilltown distillery will produce, package and distribute hand sanitiser to local health care providers.
The company has implemented extensive health and safety and the relevant social distancing measures in its production sites as advised by local governments, and the Scotch Whisky Association.
William Grant & Sons will not keep any profit made through this work. The ethanol is being supplied at the standard commercial rate and all profits will be ring-fenced and invested into future actions that help alleviate the spread and impact of the virus.
Simon Hunt, chief executive at William Grant & Sons, said: ‘Through this initiative, we can divert our technology and the skills of our people to contribute to the essential work of protecting people around the world from the impact of coronavirus. Our proud teams are determined to do what they can to help at our distilleries.’
WG&S will review the ethanol production initiative after eight weeks to assess future needs and supply options.