UK-headquartered Zenith Energy has said it is in advanced discussions to establish a commercial medical protective equipment manufacturing business in the UK, focusing on producing face masks.

In a statement, the company said it had identified an opportunity to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and care workers in the African countries where it operates.

ZENITH said it is negotiating to purchase PPE manufacturing equipment capable of making 50,000 masks per day. It will install these in a factory it has identified in north England. The company is also looking to build a hand sanitiser factory in the Republic of the Congo.

CEO Andrea Cattaneo said: “Our core focus is the acquisition and development of revenue generating oil and gas production assets in Africa. However, we recognise that the world is currently experiencing unprecedented challenges for which civil society and commercial enterprises must proactively find ways of adapting to successfully overcome the challenges at hand. “