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Japanese investor rethink on flood zone

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Fierce battle by workers to keep flood waters out of production plants. Plans for expansion plants may be changed. 

sandbags

With some factories already under neck-level flood waters workers have been relocated to remaining plants to build earthen dykes and lay sandbags around the plants.

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Minebea rethinks Ayutthaya by Krissana Parnsoonthorn


Minebea Group of Companies, one of the largest Japanese investors in Thailand, may revise its investment focus in Ayutthaya due to risks from flooding.

The group, also the largest employer in Ayutthaya, has three precision bearing plants in the province, employing more than 21,000 workers.

Its production plant at Rojana Industrial Park has been inundated since Saturday and it is now putting its effort into protecting the remaining two plants: one on Asia Highway in Uthai district and another in Bang Pa-in district.

"It's too early to mention details of a business plan revision as we have to evaluate our damage first. We have to inform our clients too. At this moment, our priority is to do everything to save the other two plants," said Vutichai Udomkarnjananan, the group's director.

The management of Minebea Thailand and workers are helping to build earthen dykes and lay sandbags around the Bang Pa-in and Uthai plants. Machines at the Uthai plant are not running as 3,000 workers focus on flood prevention work

Initially, Minebea planned to open a fourth plant in Ayutthaya near Bang Pa-in, but that plan has been postponed until the floodwaters recede.

Mr Vutichai said damage and losses at the Rojana plant, which is under neck-level flood waters, were estimated at almost 10 billion baht for the cost of high-tech machines, inventory and loss of sales during the flood and restoration period.

The company's 1,000 workers from Rojana have been relocated to help at other plants, particularly the main one at Bang Pa-in, which has 16,000 to 17,000 workers.

"A lot of our workers are suffering from the flood and can't travel to work. So we have rented up to 1,000 rooms for them to stay in temporarily during this difficult time," Mr Vutichai said. 

The three plants in Ayutthaya have combined capacity to produce 100 million bearings per month, worth 2 billion baht in sales. The postponed plant would add 40 million pieces of capacity.

Output is almost exclusively for export, as it holds a 60% market share in the global high-precision mechanical and electronic component business.

Minebea has another plant in Lop Buri, which employs about 8,000 workers, and another in Navanakorn Industrial Estate with 1,000 workers. Thailand is the largest production base outside Japan for Minebea.

Ticon Industrial Connection Plc, meanwhile, said its 32 rental factories and three warehouses at Rojana were damaged by the flood, which could translate into 19.1 million baht in rents per month, or 24% of total rental income.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Minebea rethinks Ayutthaya, 12/10/2011, Krissana Parnsoonthorn, link

Japan's Investment in Thailand Vocabulary

Minebea -  "a Japanese multinational corporation and a major producer of machinery components and electronics devices... Asia (outside of Japan) accounts for 80% of Minebea's production and 50% of its sales. It and its 43 consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates has over 47,000 employees as of 2006 in 28 manufacturing facilities and 43 sales offices" ミネベア株式会社  (See Wikipedia and pronunciation of name: #1 and #2)

rethink Y - to evaluate a changing situation Y and make new plans
Minebea rethinks Ayutthaya - the Japanese ball bearing manufacturer Minebea

revise
- improve, create again or recreate with improvements
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)

focus
- the main thing it is concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
investment focus - the main businesses that a company is planning to invest in, in the future 
revise investment focus - change the investments that the company is planning

employer
- a person, company, or organisation that pays someone to work for them as a member of their staff นายจ้าง
the largest employer in Ayutthaya

bearing -
a mechanical bearing, a device to allow constrained relative motion between two or more parts in a machine, typically rotation or linear movement, a "ball bearing" is one well-known type of bearing (See Wikipedia)

precision -
ความแม่นยำ,ความแน่นอน,ความเที่ยงตรง,ความถูกต้อง
precision bearing

precision bearing plants

plants - factories
production plant - a factory used to manufacture and produce certain kinds of goods

inundated - flooded ถูกน้ำท่วม, จมลงใต้น้ำ

effort
- an attempt to do something;  the energy and enthusiasm that people put into an activity ความพยายาม
putting its effort into protecting the remaining two plants:

revision
- a change, improvement or addition that someone makes to something like a plan or document การปรับปรุงใหม่, การแก้ไขใหม่

too early to mention details
of a business plan revision

evaluate our damage - check damaged things and add together their total value

inform
- tell people about what happened, report new information to people who don't know about it yet
We have to inform our clients -
clients - (formal) customer ลูกค้า

moment
- a very short period of time; a particular time or occasion ชั่วขณะ, โอกาสสำคัญ
priority - the most important thing they have to do สี่งที่สำคัญเป็นลำดับแรก
At this moment, our priority is to do everything to save the other two plants

dyke -
 also called "embankment" เขื่อนกั้นน้ำ
earthen -
made of dirt or earth
earthen dykes  
build earthen dykes  

lay sandbags around the plants

prevention
- the act of preventing something, or things that people do in order to prevent something การป้องกัน
focus on
flood prevention work

recede - to move back; to move further away into the distance ถอยหลัง
postponed - delayed; decided that something will be done at a later time เลื่อนออกไป

floodwaters
recede - flood waters leave the usually dry land (and go back to the river, where they belong) 
plan has been
postponed until the floodwaters recede

neck-level flood waters -
flood waters over a meter high that go right up to your neck !

inventory - the products kept in a shop, warehouse, etc., in this case, unsold cars; goods that a company has bought and stores for future use or sale สินค้าที่จัดเก็บในสต๊อก (See Wikipedia)

restore (verb) - make normal, after a
restore the situation to normal  

restoration (noun) -
restoration period -
the period of time during which the situation is being restored to normal

loss of sales
during the flood and restoration period
-

relocated
- moved to a new place
workers have been relocated to help at other plants -

suffering
- physical or mental pain or problems ความทุกข์ทรมาน

temporarily
- only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว
rooms for them to stay in temporarily

capacity - the amount of something that can be produced ความสามารถในการ (ผลิต)
bearings - ball bearings (See Wikipedia)

three plants
have combined capacity to produce 100 million bearings per month

the postponed plant would add 40 million pieces of capacity


output is almost exclusively for export


market share - the percentage of customers in some market for goods that a company has
holds a X% market share

global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก ทั้งโลก
component - the parts that something is made of; a part which combines with other parts to form something bigger ส่วนประกอบ,ส่วนเสริม

precision -
high-precision - 

holds a 60% market share
in the global high-precision mechanical and electronic component business.

base - a place from where an activity can be planned, operated and coordinated ฐานที่มั่น

production base - a place where a company (or companies in an industry) have a lot of factories producing goods 
the largest production base outside Japan

income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings

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