More than 100 million surgical masks will be pumped out by a South Australian company in the coming months under an agreement with the federal and SA governments that also includes the manufacture of respirators.
The agreement with Adelaide's Detmold Group is for 145 million masks, with 100 million to go to the National Medical Stockpile and 45 million to SA.
"We have a sufficient supply of masks at the moment, but this work will ensure we sustain that supply over the months ahead," federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said in a statement on Tuesday.
Detmold will employ up to an extra 160 workers and invest more than $1 million in buying local supplies that will support other businesses.
"This new production line won't be up and running overnight, that's why we're attacking this challenge from all angles, including continuing work to secure further masks out there in the market," Ms Andrews said.
Detmold Group CEO Alf Ianniello said production will start by May from the company's manufacturing facility in Brompton.
"We expect to have the capacity to manufacture over 20 million masks per month by June, and the facility will produce both surgical masks and respirator masks," he said.
SA Premier Steven Marshall said the deal with Detmold will help secure jobs in the state.
Australian Associated Press