Thu, Mar 19, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Water rationing measures not affecting Kinpo Group

By Lisa Wang and Lauly Li  /  Staff reporters

Kinpo Group (金仁寶集團), which includes the world’s second-largest laptop computer maker Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), has not felt the pinch of a recent water supply reduction, group chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) said yesterday, adding that the group was a relatively low consumer of water.

Hsu’s comments came as the government is considering launching more stringent water conservation measures — including cutting water supply to industrial users by 10 percent — to cope with the nation’s worst drought in about four decades.

“We are not facing a water [shortage] problem. Kinpo only performs [electronics] processing [here]. We consume very little water,” Hsu said on the sidelines of a monthly meeting of a business group, the Third Wednesday Club (三三會).

The impact of the deteriorating water supply situation in Taiwan on Kimpo less sever, as most of the group’s manufacturing sites are located in China, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

Compal, which makes computers for Dell Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), manufactures its products primarily in Chinese cities, including Nanjing, Kunshan and Chongqing.

“Semiconductor companies are heavy water consumers,” Hsu said.

To improve water usage efficiency, over the past few years some local semiconductor companies have boosted their water recycle ratio to between 85 percent and 90 percent via water recovery systems, Hsu added.

It is the agricultural sector that faces the most severe problem of inefficient water use, Hsu said. As agriculture constitutes 60 percent of the nation’s total water usage, the government should adopt measures to improve irrigation and help conserve water, he said.

Hsu said he also agrees with state-run Taiwan Water Corp’s (台灣自來水公司) proposed price hikes for major consumers. Taiwan Water, which has kept water rates unchanged over the past 20 years, is mulling charging an extra 10 percent to 30 percent for heavy users next year to reflect rising costs.

The Industrial Development Bureau yesterday said that strict water rationing measures would have the most impact on the nation’s electronics, chemicals, basic metals, textile and petrochemical industries.

If the government decides to reduce water supplies to these sectors by 10 percent, about 899 large industrial users, or 34 percent of the 2,569 large industrial water users, would be affected by the measure, the bureau said.

On Monday, Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (工商協進會) chairman Lin Por-fong (林伯豐) said the government should not increase the reduction in water supply from its current 7.5 percent to a proposed 10 percent, adding that the industrial sector only consumes 10 percent of all water used.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is scheduled to hold a water supply meeting today to discuss expanding water rationing across the nation, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) told reporters after the conclusion of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) weekly meeting.

The ministry is considering implementing the strictest level of water rationing before the end of May, ahead of its original timeframe, due to the worsening drought, Yang said, citing unimproved weather conditions and falling water levels at Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) in Taoyuan and Yungheshan Reservoir (永和山水庫) in Miaoli County.

The ministry today will also make a decision on whether to increase the reduction in supply of water for industrial use from the current 7.5 percent of water per day to 10 percent.

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