Valero’s ethanol plant in Hartley, Ia., began making hand sanitizer Thursday to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The sanitizer, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be distributed to local hospitals and emergency care providers.

“We are ready and willing to do what we can in communities surrounding our plants to help ease the nation’s critical shortage of hand sanitizer,” Joe Gorder, Valero chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Valero has 14 ethanol plants, and will consider making sanitizers at other plants if needed, company officials said.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association on March 23 reported that Iowa ethanol producer Absolute Energy and biodiesel manufacturer Western Iowa Energy had begun donating ingredients for hand sanitizers to the state prison system so inmates could make the product at their Prison Industries jobs. Templeton Rye has donated distilled water for the project.