Western Digital Restarts One Thai Harddisk Plant

New York - Western Digital reported it restarted hard-drive production at its Bang-Pa-in, Thailand, facility during the last week.

The facility had been under up to 6 feet of water when it was inundated on Oct. 15. The factory was not expected to re-open for at least another week, the company said.

The area was pumped dry as of Nov. 17; power was restored on Nov. 26, and production officially began again on Nov. 30.

At the same facility, Western Digital has removed all submerged slider manufacturing equipment for assessment, decontamination and refurbishment and expects to recommence slider production in March 2012. At the same time, slider production will commence at another Western Digital facility in Penang, Malaysia.

The company's second hard-drive facility, located in Navanakorn, is still under about 2 feet of water. The industrial park is expected to be pumped dry in the next 10 days at which time the facility can be refurbished.

Western Digital is forecasting a 50 million to 60 million shortfall industrywide in hard-drive production for the fourth quarter due to the flooding. This will force a severe constraint on supply into at least the second quarter of 2012, it reported.

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