Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s top chip packager, yesterday said its chip testing and packaging plant in Chungli (中壢) is operating normally, dismissing media speculation that it was forced to shut down the factory because it had violated wastewater discharging rules.
ASE, which has recently been dogged by a series of wastewater treatment problems, said three pieces of wafer slicing equipment were not in operation after officials from the Taoyuan County Environment Protection Bureau found on Friday that the company had illegally discharged wastewater via an faulty pipeline system, according to a company filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
The comments came after the Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday that operations at one of ASE’s chip testing and packaging plants in Chungli were suspended after the bureau’s officials examined the company’s wastewater treatment system and found that it discharged untreated wastewater from the plant on Friday.
In yesterday’s statement, ASE said it revised the pipeline system and planned to submit a wastewater improvement proposal today as requested by the agency in an effort to restart operations of the affected wafer slicing machines.
The three wafer slicing machines were installed in October, the company said.
Testing showed that the pH value of the wastewater was 8.07, within the regulatory range of pH6 to pH9, ASE said, citing the result from the bureau. No heavy metal was found in the wastewater, it said.
ASE said it treats and recycles its wastewater.
The chip testing and packaging service provider said it has spent NT$1 billion (US$33.8 million) in wastewater control and treatment facilities at its Chungli plant over the past years.