COVID-19: PDO to produce 100,000 litres of sanitiser

Muscat: Having undertaken the in-house production of over 20,000 litres of sanitizer for free distribution across its vast concession, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) – the nation’s biggest oil and gas producer – plans to manufacture an additional 100,000 litres of this commodity as part of its support for national efforts to thwart the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Last month, at a time when supplies of sanitizer were desperately low – both domestically and globally – PDO’s Production Chemistry team came up with its own homegrown version of the virus-busting gel. Using locally sourced ingredients, it formulated a lab-produced variety that was tested and found to be on par with internationally approved sanitizer formulations – all in under three days.

In the ensuing weeks, the company despatched in excess of 20,000 litres of the liquid to sites across its concession area the benefit of employees, contractor staff, community centres and clinics.

“The team is planning to produce a further 100,000 litres in the near future and is working to secure additional ingredients for sustained production,” said PDO in a report on its pandemic prevention efforts published in the latest edition of its in-house newsletter, Al Fahal.

PDO, according to the report, is also working closely with the Ministry of Health to identify and purchase essential equipment and supplies such as ventilators, medications, advanced testing machines, protective masks, disposable face shields, gloves and laboratory reagents. A special team is also reviewing options for 3D-printing of protective aids that are currently in short supply.

Additionally, PDO has seconded two senior medical lab technicians from its Medical Clinic to assist with coronavirus testing at the Central Health Laboratories of the Ministry of Health.

Furthermore, as a gesture to the Ministry of Social Development, which is overseeing the management of quarantine and isolation facilities earmarked for returning Omanis, PDO has offered a total of 150 rooms, along with catering facilities, primarily at its Mina Al Fahal camp.