“We are kidnapped by China”

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© dpa / Carsten Rehder
Employees of the manufacturer Oerlikon stand at a laboratory system that is used to manufacture fleece for face masks. Source: dpa / Carsten Rehder


The companies Lindenpartner and FleeceforEurope want to produce 50 million masks of protection classes FFP1 to FFP3 in Germany every month from the beginning of autumn exclusively for the European market. They put their plans in on Friday Neumünster in front. Accordingly, on the same day both companies bought a production plant for filter fleece from the textile machine and plant manufacturer Oerlikon Nonwoven in Neumünster. The aim is to make Europe independent in terms of mouth protection.

FleeceforEurope concentrates on the production of the filter nonwoven in Baden-Württemberg, Lindenpartner finished protective masks from the surgical mask to the face mask of class FFP3 at several locations in Germany. 100 jobs would be created for mask and fleece production. In Neumünster, a test facility should produce one million masks per month, a spokesman said.

In order to be able to produce face masks for the European health sector in the next six weeks, the mask manufacturer Lindenpartner had secured its own fleece in advance. “Politicians have often said that we need our own mask production in Germany,” said CEO Philipp Heymann. “The wild west methods alone at Mask procurement and the often inadequate quality is a clear health risk for local patients and hospital staff. “

“Most masks are complete junk”

In an interview with WELT, Heymann also criticized the market surveillance authorities, which let certifications from unauthorized companies go through: “We let ourselves be fooled by China. The vast majority of masks that are currently on the market are completely junk. ”

The biggest challenge is to get the raw materials. “They are becoming scarce worldwide,” says Heymann. But the contacts to China help the internationally active management consultancy behind the new company. They have previously helped the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with the procurement of protective equipment. “We brought 60 million items such as gloves, masks and respirators from China to Germany – and we too were kidnapped and had to throw things away,” says the managing director.

When tendering of the Federal Ministry of Health, however, Lindenpartner has not participated. It was only about the price, said Heymann. The problem: Production has to start on August 15 – according to the Lindenpartner boss, some companies that have been awarded the contract will not be able to do this. “We are then able to jump in,” says Heymann. “For us, the following applies: quality before price. And still we can open next year Chinese price level to produce.”

To combat the corona pandemic, Lindenpartner also plans to install 100 self-service machines with face masks in public places in Germany over the next four weeks, for example in shopping centers and at airports.

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