Western Digital has started making PC hard drives again in Thailand. In a press release this week, the company announced that it had resumed operations in one of its Thailand buildings after massive flooding in that country caused Western Digital to shut down its manufacturing operations. The building in question was in six feet of water just six weeks ago. The plant reopened about a week ahead of schedule, according to the statement.
Yet another Western Digital production facility in Thailand is still under two feet of water. The company said that plant will be pumped dry within 10 days, after which Western Digital will decontaminate the facility and start its refurbishment.
Even though it has started making hard drives again in Thailand, Western Digital says that the current hard drive shortages due to the floods is still expected to continue for the next several months. It estimates that the company will produce a total of 120 million hard drives for the fourth quarter of 2011. However, Western Digital estimates that demand for its hard drives will be between 170 million to 180 million units for the same time period.
While more hard drive plants will continue to come back online, it's clear that shortages will continue for some time and as a result prices for the few remaining hard drives will be much higher than normal.