Technology

Extra water curbs on the horizon for chipmakers in drought-hit Taiwan

Taiwan will tighten curbs on using water from June 1 within the main chip making hubs of Hsinchu and Taichung because it battles an islandwide drought, if there isn’t a vital rainfall by then, the federal government mentioned on Wednesday.

Describing the drought because the worst within the island’s historical past, the financial system ministry mentioned within the absence of rain it might elevate the drought alert degree to its highest, requiring firms within the two science parks to chop water consumption by 17%.

“We have to additional tighten water use restrictions in response, upfront of a state of affairs when rainfall from the plum rain is falling in need of expectation,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement, referring to the late spring wet season.

Learn extra: TSMC plans to double down on US chip factories

Reservoirs within the island’s central and southern areas had been at under 5% of capability, the ministry mentioned, including that in its drastic efforts so as to add provides it had turned to about 160 wells and seawater desalination vegetation.

The world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) , has factories in each Hsinchu and Taichung.

The chip large informed Reuters it had seen no affect on manufacturing and would proceed to trim its water use and purchase provides from tanker vans for some foundries.

One other main chipmaker, United Microelectronics Corp, mentioned it had adopted quite a few water-saving measures.

“There is no such thing as a affect to manufacturing,” it added.

No typhoons immediately hit the island final 12 months, that means a lot much less rain. This 12 months rainfall has additionally been low and the outlook just isn’t good.

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Expertise firms have lengthy complained about tight water provides, which turned extra acute after factories expanded manufacturing following a Sino-U.S. commerce warfare.

The drought has additionally exacerbated issues with electrical energy administration, main to 2 main island-wide blackouts in lower than every week.

President Tsai Ing-wen pledged this week to look into electrical energy administration, saying the booming financial system and excessive climate posed a “nice problem”.

The drought means electrical energy generated by hydropower vegetation was inadequate, state-run electrical energy supplier Taipower mentioned.

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