Export Minister opens Dulas' new vaccine refrigerator factory

2 min read

Dulas, the only manufacturer of World Health Organisation (WHO) accredited off-grid solar powered vaccine refrigerators in the UK, has officially opened its expanded factory in Bognor Regis.

Ruth Chapman, Dulas MD and Mike Freer MP, open the new factory
Ruth Chapman, Dulas MD and Mike Freer MP, open the new factory

To mark the opening, Minister for Exports, Mike Freer MP, along with senior DIT officials, visited the factory. 

During the visit, Dulas showcased their cold chain equipment manufacturing processes and testing facilities, including the state-of-the-art humidity chamber, which reaches highs of 43° Celsius and tests refrigerators against the high temperatures they will face across the world. The delegation had the chance to meet with engineers working on the factory floor before the Minister cut the ribbon to officially open Dulas’ expanded factory. 

The expansion immediately doubles production capacity enabling Dulas to fulfil more orders. Through programmes and partnerships with GAVI, the global vaccine alliance, and their biggest customer UNICEF, Dulas sends their refrigerators to the hardest to reach and most rural communities in the world that don’t have access to electricity. Refrigerators are currently being prepared for a delivery to Yemen, and Dulas are working on new orders to supply a number of projects across the globe for 2022. 

2022 also marks Dulas’ 40-year anniversary, following its formation within the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in 1982. Since then, Dulas has been at the forefront of the renewables industry, providing real and life-saving solutions to the humanitarian sector in over 80 countries across the world. 

Ruth Chapman, Managing Director of Dulas said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister along with Government officials to tour our newly expanded factory and to show them how we build our unique solar-powered vaccine refrigerators. 

We all know that COVID-19 is a global issue, and the virus will not be eradicated until the whole world is vaccinated. Less than 4% of people in low income countries have had at least one vaccine dose, compared to over 70% in high income countries, so a Herculean international effort is required to close this gap this year. As part of this, cold chain equipment like ours will be vital to deliver vaccines safely and securely to the most remote communities in the world. 

With today’s expansion, we can help even more governments around the world meet the expected increase in demand for cold chain equipment as global vaccine supplies ramp up. The UK Government is already leading international efforts to donate excess vaccines to developing countries, and we look forward to working with the Department for International Trade to promote British-made cold chain equipment around the world in 2022.” 

Mike Freer MP, Minister for Exports, Department for International Trade said: 

“Dulas has played an important part in the UK’s role to build global resilience against threats to human health through their invaluable work in supporting vaccine distribution to remote communities using solar powered refrigeration. 

They are a prime example of a business that, thanks to DIT support, is able to trade around the world and showcase the best of UK exporting and expertise on a truly global scale whilst helping the country, and indeed the world, build back better from the pandemic.”