Mon, Apr 12, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Electronics makers hurt by Saturday's blackout

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufac-turing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and other electronics makers were hurt by a sudden power cut on Saturday that may cause as much as NT$1.5 billion ($46 million) in losses, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday, without saying where it obtained information about the breakdown or the loss estimate.

The power cut hit the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (新竹科學園區), where most of the nation's electronics companies are based, at about 7:30am Saturday and lasted until 9:19am.

More than 300 companies in the park's third phase were hit by the blackout, including TSMC, the world's largest supplier of made-to-order chips, rival United Microelectronics Corp (聯電), AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the country's largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computers and TVs, Powership Semiconductor Corp (力晶半導體), ProMOS Technologies (茂德) and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子).

After an investigation, Taiwan Power Company (Taipower, 台電) concluded that the blackout was caused by the misconduct of operators of Microdisplay Optronics Corp (聯誠光電), according to a Taipower statement.

The operators had not turned off power in certain circuits as required by Taipower as part of a maintenance project, according to the statement.

The companies have also been affected by recent water shortages. In January, TSMC and other companies had to cut water consumption by 5 percent after reservoir supplies in the area fell to record levels.

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