One by one, key investors in the Tainan Science-Based Industrial park (
The latest firms to mull pulling out or are actually canceling planned projects are DRAM chipmakers Silicon Integrated Systems Co (
Parts of the industrial park are only 200m from the planned high-speed rail line.
Silicon Integrated Systems Co, Taiwan's second-largest chipset maker, announced yesterday that it may also halt construction of their chip factory in the park.
Nevertheless, Silvia Lin (林紫玲), senior corporate marketing manager at Silicon Integrated said, "We have decided to wait for the government's response to the problem before making any decision on whether to stay at the current site or not," Lin said.
SIS' first 12-inch wafer plant, which broke ground on Dec. 21 last year, was based on the assumption that they would not be affected by the high-speed railway, Lin said. Construction is now in the "preliminary planning stage of building the foundation," Lin said.
Lin believes the government will resolve the problem within the next three months, and if not, she said the plant site can be changed even if the entire external structure is completed.
The company plans to invest NT$50 billion to build the plant, which is scheduled to be completed in 2002.
The 340km high-speed rail system linking Taipei and the southern city of Kaohsiung is scheduled to begin operating in 2005.
Meanwhile, another high-tech heavyweight, Chi Mei Electronics Corp, indicated they may also ax plans to build three of five planned plants, local Chinese-language media reported yesterday. Two Chi Mei plants currently under construction will proceed, but the construction of three others is now being reconsidered, the report said.
Chen Chiun-wei (
"All companies located in the industrial park were informed of the high-speed railway problem more than two years ago." Chen said, "Chi Mei and SIS are both located over 200m away from railway's path. In Japan, such a distance has been proven to have no effect [on manufacturers] if vibration-reduction measures are taken."
Liao Ching-lung (
Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp officials shared that same view, adding that the contract must be changed if the government wants the rail company to alter the structural design of the line, the officials said. High Speed Rail said the government must take full responsibility for the extra costs and construction delays involved with diverting the line.
According to the rail line, a one-day delay in the NT$500 billion project will cost the project concessionaire an estimated NT$300 million.