Mon, Feb 27, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Science park unscathed by earthquake

TOUGH SYSTEMS:A magnitude 6.1 temblor rocked the south yesterday morning, but the Southern Taiwan Science Park reported no damage to either of its complexes

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP, 南部科學園區), the third-largest “Silicon Valley” in Taiwan, emerged unscathed from a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that shook southern Taiwan yesterday, according to the park administration.

No immediate damage was reported from park’s complexes in Tainan and Kaohsiung after an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the open-ended Richter scale rocked the area at 10:35am, the largest temblor recorded this year.

Lin Wei-cheng (林威呈), a park deputy director-general, said earthquakes usually are detrimental to semiconductor and optoelectronics manufacturing plants. The major operators at the park, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), maintain automatic shut-down systems to minimize the effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes, Lin said.

TSMC, United Microelectronics Corp (聯電), Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶), Sintek Photronic Corp (和鑫光電) and other major companies in the park have all reported trouble-free operations after the temblor, Lin said.

Meanwhile, the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區) also reported no immediate damage from the quake.

The Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) said no companies operating in the nation’s largest science-based industrial park were affected by the earthquake, which had an intensity of 2.0 in Hsinchu County.

The quake was centered in Wutai (霧台), Pingtung County, but had an intensity of 5.0 in Tainan.

The earthquake, which occurred 20km beneath the seabed, was the largest earthquake in Taiwan since a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit Kao-hsiung on March 4, 2010, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Two aftershocks measuring more than 4.0 had since occurred in Taitung, according to the bureau.

The amount of investment approved by the nation’s three science parks in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan rose 28.78 percent last year to more than NT$63.9 billion (US$ 2.16 billion), with 98 new companies, including 15 from abroad, committing to new projects, the National Science Council said on Friday.

The strength of the science parks has been their ability to create thriving clusters, helping the country’s development in the semiconductor and optoelectronics sectors, which hold leading positions in the world, the council said.

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