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Western Digital’s Thailand Plants Flooded

Irvine, Calif. – Western Digital’s Thailand-based hard drive
factories have been overtaken by flood waters, creating a potentially
shortfall in hard-disk-drive (HDD) production.

On Oct. 12 Western Digital had voluntarily shut down its
Thai factories even though these were not directly impacted by the
The company made the decision to protect its workers and because local
component manufacturers had been closed, disrupting the supply chain.

The company now expects its hard-drive operations and
ability to deliver finished product will be severely impacted as its two
plants are directly affected by the flooding. Last week the potential
was described as creating a merely constrained supply situation.

The facilities are located in the Bang Pa and Navanakam
industrial parks located outside of Bangkok. Each was hit when the
defending the sites were breached over the weekend by flood waters
created by
an extremely severe monsoon season.

The company reported the flood defenses at Bang Pa were
overwhelmed during the weekend, inundating WD’s facilities and
equipment. The water began entering the Navanakam industrial park Monday
morning local time, threatening WD’s plant there, but further details
were not
yet available.

Adding to the HDD manufacturing problem is the flooding has
also shut down many of the component manufacturing plants in the country
supply WD.

The two factories made about 32 million hard drives during
the quarter, ended July 1 — about 60 percent of WD’s total output.

Hitachi GST also issued a warning stating the flooding is
impacting its Thai plants in Prachinburi
and Chonburi. While Hitachi’s facilities have not been damaged by the
flooding, the company said regional component suppliers have been shut
creating a situation of near-term production constraints primarily to
Travelstar mobile hard drives.

Hitachi is conducting an inventory of its sub-components and
looking for other sources in order to minimize the impact to its

Hitachi added that despite these moves, it expects an
immediate slowdown at its Prachinburi site.

Last week Seagate had also shut down its Thai-based factories
as a precaution. That company has not made any new announcements, but it
expected to update the situation on Oct. 20 during its quarterly