Seagate invests £120m in Northern Ireland plant

Investment in the Londonderry plant will allow it to remain 'the lowest-cost and biggest producer of read-write heads in the world', the company said

Seagate has increased its investment in Northern Ireland, announcing that it plans to spend another £120m on its production plant in Springtown, Londonderry.

The money will go towards new equipment, research and development, infrastructure and IT systems at the plant, which is used to manufacture read-write heads for disk drives. The work is expected to be completed by 2010, the company said in a statement.

"This investment will allow our Springtown factory to remain at the forefront of the technology and efficiency battle that is waged in the disk-drive industry," said John Spangler, vice president at the Northern Ireland plant.

According to Seagate, last year the hard-disk-drive industry shipped over 500 million units; in 1990, less than 30 million were shipped. Seagate alone shipped just over 175 million drives last year, and over one million read-write heads a day.

The Northern Ireland plant opened in 1993 with the establishment of a wafer-fabrication facility at Springtown Industrial Estate. Production began in 1994 with 300 employees. Now the plant employs 1,300 people in the development and manufacture of read-write heads.


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