By Chris Nicholls

RAYONG, THAILAND: Fisher & Paykel have announced their new factory in Rayong, Thailand, is on schedule to open in March, with its first dryer expected to roll off the line on March 19. 

The roof is expected to go up in the next week, with the company due to stage a customary ‘roof shout’ ceremony for the 600 or so workers, complete with on-site lunch, once it has been completed.

“The construction team is working around the clock and we aim to produce the first Fisher & Paykel dryer off our new line on March 19, 2008,” said Fisher & Paykel Thailand’s general manager, Andrew Paykel,

Construction of the factory has taken a year.

“The move to Thailand has been necessary to meet an increasingly competitive market. With many of our major competitors now producing throughout Asia we needed to have a strong market presence in the region,” said Paykel. 

Paykel said while the cheaper labour and tax costs would have a positive effect, it would be a long time before the company recouped the costs involved in moving the factory to Thailand.

“We’ve got a couple of years before we recoup the costs of the move. Logistically, it was very expensive,” he said.