SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. said its
chip production lines hit by a power outage were fully
operating by midday Saturday and expected total damage from the
incident to be smaller than an earlier estimate.
The world's biggest maker of memory chips shut down six of
its chip production lines on Friday after a power cut at its
Kiheung plant, near Seoul.
The company now expects to lose 40 billion won ($43.4
million) from the outage.
U.S. research firm iSuppli Corp. said the incident could
stretch the current NAND market shortage through to the first
half of August, adding that the affected Samsung lines account
for 35 percent of global NAND wafer output.
Samsung said all six lines were fully operating by 12:00
p.m. 4:00 a.m. British time), earlier than expected.
Samsung previously said full operation would begin no later
than within two days and the damage would not exceed 50 billion
A problem at a switchboard at a transformer substation led
to a power outage Friday afternoon, stopping six lines for
memory and system logic chips at the plant.
The affected lines resumed production between early
Saturday morning and midday after the power supply was restored
late on Friday, Samsung said.
Some analysts had said the outage could wipe out as much as
a month's worth of Samsung's total production of NAND flash
memory chips, which are widely used for data storage in
Chips that were already in the fabrication process when the
outage hit would have to be discarded while a ramp-up to the
optimal production level could take some time, they said.
"The Samsung outage comes at a critical juncture in the
NAND market, when conditions are set to shift from shortage to
oversupply," iSuppli said in a report dated Friday. "The major
factor to watch now is how quickly Samsung actually recovers
from this outage."
It would not have a major impact on Samsung's earnings
given the fast recovery, iSuppli added.
Shares in Samsung, South Korea's biggest stock with a
market capitalisation of $94 billion, ended flat on Friday
while its NAND rivals, including Japan's Toshiba Corp. and
South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc., rose on expectations of
But shares of Apple Inc. fell overnight as the maker of
popular iPod digital media player may be forced to pay more for
Samsung had a 44 percent share of the world's NAND flash
market at the end of the first quarter, according to iSuppli.