Toshiba restarts flood-hit Thai semicon plant

The Japanese electronics manufacturer says "healthy demand" for discrete chips used in smartphones and tablets meant it had to resume operations at its Pathumthani facility.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Toshiba on Wednesday announced it will resume shipping discrete chips manufactured by its semiconductor facility in Pathumthani, Thailand, after it was forced to close by the floods in October last year.

The Japanese electronics manufacturer issued a statement today saying it had restarted its manufacturing plant in Pathumthani to "meet healthy demand" for discrete products for smartphones and tablet devices. Production resumed earlier in November and shipments will begin on Wednesday, it noted.

Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand's (TST) plant was completely inundated during the floods, which forced the company to suspend operations. The assembly and packaging of small signal devices and photocouplers were handed off to other plants in Japan and Malaysia, and it also outsourced production to respond to changes in demand, it added.

To prevent such downtime from happening again, Toshiba decided in April this year to relocate its Pathunthani operations to the 304 Industrial Park in Purachinburi. The new facility, which will start operations in spring 2013, is outside of Thailand's major flood plain, the statement noted.

The company did not say what will happen to its Pathumthani facility once the shift is completed though.

Last year's floods in Thailand hit the global IT supply chain badly, leaving the PC and server markets most affected by the disruptions. Some 14,000 factories were shut down, while more than 660,000 people were put out of work from the natural disaster.

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