Chinese firm still to set up laptop assembly facility

The Chinese electronics giant, Haier, has not yet begun assembling laptops here as a result of several factors including the re-organisation of the company’s structure in China.

“It’s all in place, it’s just a matter of when to do it,” said Brian James, the Chinese firm’s local partner, when contacted by Stabroek News last week. He said that the firm has not yet begun assembling laptops or other electronic appliances. At the unveiling of the company’s assembly line at Industrial Site, Ruimveldt, in June, James had said that Haier was working to have operations from its new base up and running within two months.

Quizzed about the delay, he said that the “temporary halt” is as a result of supplying the second and third tranches of laptops for the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) programme as well as re-organisation within the Haier structure in China. James said that the finalization of plans and the models to be assembled is being done. However, he could not give a timeline as to when the assembling will begin because no decision has yet been made on this aspect.

Company officials had said that the assembly line will be capable of producing 200,000 laptops and monitors and 150,000 television sets a year. The replica OLPF project assembly line was engineered to be eco-friendly with minimal power consumption, according to officials.

It was said too that the assembly line would be mostly man powered and 70 technicians would be responsible for the putting together of all products. The assembly building would also house the components and the finished products ready for sale. Different stations were designed to ensure quality products including burn stations that will test all electrical components for faults and assess durability, according to the company.

James had said that the US$2 million investment in the plant is not just about computers as the company will focus on assembling other appliances. He had said the venture could mean substantial savings on products for consumers. Haier is targeting the Caribbean market as well as the country’s neighbours and the existing business agreement between Guyana and Brazil will aid the entity.

James had told Stabroek News in February that in addition to the plant, the company plans to establish an industrial park within five years in an investment pegged at US$10 million.

Last year, Haier won a US$7.56 million contract for the supply of 27,000 netbooks for the OLPF project. (Gaulbert Sutherland)

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