Etex contributes to COVID-19 vaccine readiness strategies by providing high-performance insulation solutions

Zaventem, 27 April 2021 - Etex, global building solutions innovator and pioneer in lightweight construction, has concluded a number of contracts active for the provision of high-performance, ultrathin insulation products used in both building applications and passively cooled containers for vaccine transport. With the latter, Etex contributes to the timely and safe distribution of COVID-19 vaccines under ideal low-temperature conditions across the world. The company forecasts over 6 million euro in sales of these products, which are manufactured at its site in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, in 2021.

Millions of vaccines to move under precise conditions

As citizens await their COVID-19 vaccination appointments, plenty of news is being shared on how vaccines are made, stored and transported. These requirements are particularly complex for COVID-19 vaccines.

“Last mile” transport, referring to the final leg of the journey from distribution hub to vaccination sites, is challenging for sensitive pharmaceutical products such as vaccines. During this stage, vials of doses must be kept under constant and stable low temperatures – with as little fluctuation as possible – for a number of days. In the specific case of COVID-19 vaccines, millions of vaccines must be transported as quickly and efficiently as possible, making optimised usage of space imperative.

Meeting demand for a high-performance insulation solution

Experienced in the logistics requirements of the cold supply chain and the benefits of high-performing, ultra-thin, lightweight insulation technology, Etex developed innovative solutions that combine microporous materials and vacuum process technology.

To rapidly meet high demand for these products, Etex is accelerating a 30% increase in production capacity by investing in 1.2 million euro in additional process technologies. Thanks to these efforts, a number of logistics packaging clients now rely on Etex microporous insulation technology to quickly, safely and effectively deliver COVID-19 vaccines to vaccination centres all over the world.

Steven Heytens, Head of Industry Division: “Our products contribute to global energy efficiency and create sustainable value for our customers. Driven by the EU Green deal, we expect the demand for thin insulation solutions for building and cool logistics applications to increase strongly in the coming years. This investment fits with our growth strategy and confirms our commitment to strengthening our European position in high performance microporous insulation.”