Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Manufacturing sector counts its blessings

MINOR WOES The Industrial Development Bureau said problems were largely confined to companies in the center and south, which have reported flood-soaked machinery and damage to fences and buildings

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hsieh Chien-yu -- the owner of a small farm in Nanchuang township, Miaoli County -- bemoaned his bad luck on Monday as he looked at the devestation wrought by Tropical Storm Mindulle. The storm completely destroyed his three greenhouses only a few days before his crop of cherry tomatoes was due to be harvested.


The industrial sector luckily escaped the brunt of Tropical Storm Mindulle, government officials told the Taipei Times yesterday.

"Unlike the ailing agricultural sector, damage to the industrial sector is estimated to be less than NT$1 billion," said an official at the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Agricultural damage totalled NT$5.75 billion as of yesterday, the Council of Agriculture said.

Damage to industry was mostly minor, including damage to buildings and fences and flood-soaked machines, which could be easily restored, the official said.

Most of the damage occurred to businesses and factories located in the center and south of the country, including chemical and mechanical companies, the official said, while most of the electronics companies in the north were less affected.

Some 1,000 companies located in central Taiwan faced water shortages after floodwaters damaged a water gate at Li Yu Tan Reservoir (鯉魚潭水庫) in Miaoli County on Monday night.

Water will be supplied to the area on a rotating basis, the state-run Taiwan Water Supply Corp (自來水公司) announced in late Monday night -- two days on and four days off.

The Water Resources Agency said in a statement that it expected to fix the problem by around 8pm yesterday.

"If the problem could be resolved by 8pm, the water supply could return to normal by 8am [today] ? to supply 100 tonnes of water per day for household and industrial demands," said Lin Fang-song (林芳松), a manager at the water company.

Otherwise rationing will continue, the company said, which would affect the Taichung Industrial Park (台中工業區) and Taichung Port's Kuang Lien Industrial Park (台中港關連工業區), Lin said.

Companies in these two parks, including Largan Precision Co (大立光電), Huga Optotech Inc (廣稼光電) and factories run by Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業).

Largan is the nation's largest maker of lenses and shutters used in digital cameras.

Tsai Song-lin (蔡松霖), the spokesman for Huga, a light emitting diode compound semiconductor maker, said that it has its own water tanks and would purchase water from private water suppliers during the rationing period.

Uni-President said that rationing would not have a huge impact on it as its factories in the Taichung industrial park are set to manufacture forage, which does not require much amount of water.

The IDB official said companies in the area would receive an adequate supply of water for the time being.

"The Taiching Industrial Park is equipped with its own water-storage tanks which are capable of supplying more than 30 tonnes of water for a three-day demand," said a section chief at the bureau who asked to remain anonymous.

The parks also provide tankers to transport water to factories suffering shortages, the official said.

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