Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 13 News List

LED group pushes government to set higher standards for lighting project

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng, third right, listens as Lextar Electronics Corp chairman and Taiwan LED Lighting Industry Association president David Su, left, speaks at an event in the Hsinchu Science Park yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Local LED lighting manufacturers yesterday urged the government to set stricter quality standards for a nationwide project to replace mercury-vapor street lamps with energy-efficient LED lamps to prevent price-cutting competition.

“Fierce price-cutting competition would sacrifice local manufacturers’ interests and would be adverse to Taiwan’s LED industry development,” a Taiwan LED Lighting Industry Association (台灣LED照明產業聯盟) official, who declined to be named, told the Taipei Times after the association held a closed-door meeting with Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) in the Hsinchu Science Park.

The association, headed by David Su (蘇峰正), who is also the chairman of Taiwanese LED chipmaker Lextar Electronics Corp (隆達電子), said during the meeting that some local firms might use low-cost Chinese LED street lamps if the government does not set the bar higher for the bids, the official said.

The Cabinet approved in November a NT$5.49 billion (US$175.3 million) project to help local governments replace 692,000 mercury street lamps with LED lights by the end of next year.

Local LED lightning makers should tender bids for the project to local governments in accordance with the Cabinet’s project requirements, the Bureau of Energy said.

“LED companies need not worry about quality standards for the bids, as we already raised the bar to ensure product quality,” Bureau of Energy official Lin Kong-yuan (林公元), who was also present at the meeting, said by telephone.

Lin said the Cabinet requires local governments to award contracts based on the most advantageous bid, rather than the lowest, to ensure product quality.

In addition, the project requires bidders to use components that are 99-percent locally made to make sure it will help Taiwan’s green energy development and benefit Taiwanese LED makers, Lin said.

The association official said the nation’s LED manufacturers face international tariff barriers, especially in emerging markets. High-tariffs affect companies’ gross margins and their competitiveness in overseas markets, the official said.

Quoting Su, the official said that Taiwan’s upstream LED manufacturers enjoy a leading position in the global marketplace, while downstream firms account for less than 5 percent, because many of them are small or medium-sized firms with diverse LED lighting applications.

Su told Deng that the nation’s downstream LED manufacturers need the government’s help the most, adding that the government should assist the companies with brand promotion and the expansion of business opportunities in overseas markets.

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