Tue, Feb 12, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Ministry assures Hsinchu tech firms on water supply

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it is allocating more water from reservoirs in Taoyuan and Miaoli County to ensure that the operations of major semiconductor and LCD manufacturers in Hsinchu would not be affected by below-normal rainfall in the area.

The water storage ratios at the Baoshan (寶山水庫) and Second Baoshan (寶二水庫) reservoirs — the major water sources for companies operating in Hsinchu County — had fallen to about 37 percent as of yesterday, Water Resources Agency (WRA) data showed.

“We are allocating [water] from Taoyuan and Miaoli to support the reservoirs in Hsinchu. There will be no problem [of water supply] until March,” Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said.

“Water supply to the region should remain stable in the short term,” he added.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) and AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) operate several plants in Hsinchu, which consume a huge amount of water for cooling and cleaning during the manufacturing process.

The agency said it has distributed 140,000 tonnes of water from Taoyuan’s Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) and Miaoli’s Yongheshan Reservoir (永和山水庫) per day to fill the supply gap in Hsinchu.

That accounted for 25 percent of the total water consumption of 540,000 tonnes a day in the region, the agency said.

The WRA is set to hold a cross-ministerial meeting on Friday to discuss countermeasures to cope with low rainfall.

Officials from the Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水) and reservoirs administration, the Council of Agriculture and Irrigation and Water Conservancy Associations are to attend the meeting.

The agency said it is highly likely that the nation would see normal rainfall in spring, citing the Central Weather Bureau.

Shen said that electricity supply would be stable this year and next year, despite the government’s decision to phase out nuclear power generators and to introduce more green energy.

Taiwan Power Co (台電) said its power reserve capacity should reach more than 10 percent this year after a new generator in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) starts operating in the summer.

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