Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Vanguard trims outlook after blackout

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp (世界先進) yesterday trimmed its financial forecast for this quarter in expectation that an early-morning power disruption yesterday would wipe out NT$300 million (US$9.74 million) in revenue.

The chipmaker’s revision came after a blackout at 12:37am — attributed to a malfunction at an electricity substation — affected its third fab in Taoyuan, disrupting production.

No casualties were reported after the company immediately evacuated workers in its clean room.

“The power outages will delay wafer shipments from the facility and will increase manufacturing costs,” Vanguard spokesman Tseng Dong-liang (曾棟樑) said in a statement.

As a result, revenue is expected to drop to between NT$7.3 billion and NT$7.7 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with the chipmaker’s previous estimate of between NT$7.6 billion and NT$8 billion, the statement said.

The disrupted production is expected to erode gross margin by 1 percentage point to between 35 and 37 percent, compared with an earlier estimate of between 36 and 38 percent, it said.

Operating margin is tipped to dwindle to between 24 and 26 percent, rather than between 25 and 27 percent as it estimated early last month, Vanguard said.

Vanguard said that as of 7pm last night it had restored 70 percent of power supply to the facility.

The company expects the fab to resume normal operations next quarter, the statement said.

SUBSTATION

The fab is entirely reliant on a cogeneration system — which supplies heat and power — in the Jinhsin (錦興) industrial area in Luzhu District (路竹), which also supplies power to Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board Corp (Nan Ya PCB, 南亞電路板).

A malfunction of the on-and-off system for a 161 kilovolt power line connecting the Jinhsin area to other Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) infrastructure caused generators to shut down, Vanguard said.

Vanguard makes LCD driver ICs used in flat panels, as well as power management ICs and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor imaging sensors.

NANYA ALSO AFFECTED

DRAM chipmaker Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) said a sudden reduction in power briefly affected supply to some of its manufacturing equipment in the area.

Power to affected equipment was fully restored and there would be a limited effect on operations, the memorychip maker said in a statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Taipower said the blackout was limited to the industrial area and a few nearby sites.

Nan Ya PCB might be to blame for the small-scale outage, as a malfunction of its equipment caused the substation in the industrial area to shut down, Taipower said.

Supply to the affected area was normal when the incident occurred, Taipower said.

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