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UK Exports Minister Mike Freer attended the official opening of our expanded factory in Bognor Regis last week – we have recently doubled our manufacturing capacity in response to global COVID vaccination efforts. We can now export more refrigerators to off-grid communities in developing countries, with current orders being prepared for Yemen, Libya and Myanmar.

To mark the opening, Minister for Exports, Mike Freer MP, along with senior Department for International Trade (DIT) officials, visited the factory. During the visit, we showcased our cold chain equipment manufacturing processes and testing facilities, including our state-of-the-art humidity chamber, which reaches highs of 43°C 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 our expanded factory.

The expansion immediately doubles production capacity enabling Polestar to fulfil more orders. One of our biggest customers is UNICEF and our Solar Direct Drive (SDD) refrigerators are sent to some of the most rural and remote communities in the world that don’t have reliable access to electricity. Refrigerators are currently being prepared for deliveries to Yemen, Libya and Myanmar, and we are working on new orders to supply a number of projects across the globe in 2022. Polestar is the only UK manufacturer of World Health Organisation (WHO) accredited off-grid SDD refrigerators in the UK.

Ruth Chapman, Managing Director: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister along with Government officials to 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.

“They have played an important part in the UK’s role to build global resilience”

Mike Freer MP

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: “They have 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.”

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