Employees at Huntsman’s Rotterdam facility were treated to a special visit from Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in recognition of the success of a pilot program implemented to conduct rapid tests for COVID-19.
In coordination with the 40-day shutdown of our polyurethane chemical facilities at the Port of Rotterdam for turnaround activities, nearly 1,000 external contractors are on-site daily at the Huntsman facility. In addition to the existing protective measures already in place at the facility, an extra layer of protection was added to prevent the spread of infection and ensure COVID-19 cases remain under control. Coined “Operation Fastlane,” Huntsman worked with the Dutch government to set up four test streets and became the only site in the Netherlands to administer breathalyzer tests around the clock for coronavirus. Personnel is screened every 48 hours and receive instant results from their breath tests, which has prevented outbreaks among staff and ensured a safe and healthy environment at the Rotterdam facility.
“The Rotterdam site has been proactive in introducing systems for identifying and protecting the site from the threat of COVID-19 over the last year,” said Kal Khogali, Rotterdam Site Director. “To have the Queen recognize our efforts speaks to the tremendous work done by the team on the ground to safeguard both health and our critical operations.”
The device, developed by Dutch company Breathomix, functions as an electric nose and can quickly detect when users are not infected with the coronavirus. It does not detect the virus itself but instead captures the changes in a human breath when it is fighting infection. From start to finish, the process takes two to three minutes, creating an efficient and effective screen for illness in personnel entering the facility.
The site celebrated with a short ceremony with the Queen and served traditional Dutch cookies to mark the occasion