Tue, May 23, 2000 - Page 17 News List

EPA to halt work at UMC, Worldwide Semiconductor fabs

STAFF WRITER

Two wafer foundries operated by United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC, 聯電) and Worldwide Semiconductor Manufacturing (世大) respectively are expected to be shut down sometime this week while environmental impact assessments (EIA) are carried out.

The Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Agency (環境保護署) claims that neither of the companies had conducted EIAs before beginning full production at two of the plants -- UMC's 8E fab and Worldwide's No. 2 plant -- at the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park.

The EPA has reportedly sent a request to its supervisory body, the National Science Council (NSC, 國家科學委員會), for the assessments to be carried out on the two foundries.

A spokesman from UMC responded yesterday to the move by saying that suspension of production at the 8E plant would cost the company NT$50 million per day in losses.

UMC would be willing to wear the loss as long as the assessment was wrapped up within two days and production could resume immediately after the EIA is completed, the spokesman said.

The company would only seek compensation from the government if the shutdown ends up being prolonged, he added.

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