A fire at a laptop battery plant in South Korea has sparked a massive supply problem for major manufacturers including Dell and HP.

And customers could be hit with a price hike for replacement batteries as a result.

The fire damaged LG Chem's Ochang plant on 3 March.

LG Chem is the second biggest South Korean battery maker; and the fire is already affecting supplies for Asus, HP and Dell machines.

Dell will not say how much of an impact the fire has had on prices of notebook PCs but did say that it is working with other suppliers to try and source batteries.

LG Chem's main rivals in the notebook battery business are Samsung SDI and Sony Corp.

The Ochang plant is not expected to start production again for 2-3 months.