Eco-business / Social Venture

November 21, 2008


Sumitomo Chemical to Start Mosquito Net Production in Nigeria

Keywords: Climate Change Eco-business / Social Venture Ecosystems / Biodiversity Manufacturing industry 

Sumitomo Chemical announced on June 4, 2008, that it will launch a new plant to produce its proprietary Olyset Net in Nigeria, in western Africa, to meet soaring demand for the anti-malaria mosquito net. Although details of when and how construction starts are still under review, the new plant is expected to manufacture up to 20 million units of the Olyset Net annually. The plant will also contribute to job creation, with the hiring of more than 5,000 local people.

In 2003, Sumitomo started local production of its Olyset Net in Tanzania, providing the technology free of charge to a local manufacturer, A to Z Textile Mills Limited. Collaborating with an affiliate of A to Z, Sumitomo established a joint venture, Vector Health International Limited, and has operated another plant since 2007. The two Tanzania-based firms together directly employ more than 3,200 local people producing nets, with a capacity of 10 million units per year (as of April 2008).

Sumitomo's Olyset Net, made by incorporating insecticide into the resin-based fiber, kills mosquitoes it traps with its 4-by-3-millimeter mesh, the right size to keep out the insects while letting in enough air. As the chemical agent is released gradually, the net retains the insecticidal effect for five years even after repeated washing.

The advantages of the net as economical and effective protection against malaria has been certified by the World Health Organization, and its use is recommended by other international organizations as well. Sumitomo Chemical also has worked to support school education and used a part of profits from the Olyset Net business to finance the establishment of elementary schools in Africa.

- Sumitomo Chemical Vector Control website

Posted: 2008/11/21 06:42:53 AM