Western Digital updates Thailand flood situation, predicts ‘significant impact’ on operations

Hard disk drive manufacturer Western Digital confirmed on Monday what it suggested last week: that continued flooding across Thailand will seriously impede its production output this quarter. Citing intense recent activity that compromised the manufacturing capabilities of two plants, the company said it likely will be unable to meet consumer demand through 2011.

Western Digital updates Thailand flood situation, predicts 'significant impact' on operations

Facilities in Bang Pa-in and Navanakorn were submerged by flood waters which had broken through their respective industrial park’s defensive structures, said Western Digital. The former was hit hard over the weekend, while the latter suffered water damage on Monday. The company insisted that no employees were harmed, though vital equipment at both factories was damaged. As a result, Western Digital upgraded its former claims on the overall impact to business and extended last week’s suspension of operations.

“The company now expects that the flooding of its Thailand facilities, combined with flood damage to the company’s supply chain in Thailand, will have significant impact on the company’s overall operations and its ability to meet customer demand for its products in the December quarter,” read a press statement.

Competitor Seagate issued similar remarks last week. Two of its Thai facilities were reportedly in working order, but the company admitted supply constraints in the near-future were inevitable.

In the second quarter, Western Digital’s Thailand plants shipped over 32 million HDDs. New details on its production woes will be delivered during an October 19 conference call.