Science Park needs space to grow


Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 11

Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) has approved the entry applications of 53 high-tech firms which will invest NT$525.15 billion.

The National Science Council (NSC) plans to help the park solve problems in land acquisition for its future expansion, officials said yesterday.

According to the NSC, the park's two sites, located in Tai-chung and Yunlin counties, total 402 hectares. At the Taichung site, which covers 304 hectares of land, only 137.8 hectares can be allocated for investors' use.

According to Yang Wen-ke (楊文科), deputy director general of the park's provisional office un-der the council, so far 33 firms have been allocated to use a zone covering 132.4 hectares of land at the site.

Leading investors include AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), ProMOS Technologies Inc (茂德科技), Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子), Corning Inc in Taiwan (台灣康寧) and others.

"The park's initial development has created not only positive impacts on industries in central Taiwan, but also future business opportunities," Yang said yesterday at a press conference in Taipei.

Yang said that AU Optronics will become the park's first firm to manufacture products.

The company will commence mass production of liquid-crystal displays during the first quarter of next year.

So far, about 20 percent of the infrastructure for the Taichung site has been completed. By the end of this year, another 24 public construction projects will be carried out at a cost of NT$14.3 billion.

Yang said that flooding caused by Tropical Storm Mindulle early this month had delayed the construction process slightly.

The remaining site still available for rental covers only 5.5 hectares of land.

To accommodate more high-tech firms, the park's Provisional Office is negotiating with land-owners nearby to gain an additional 89.3 hectares of land.

At the Yunlin site, which covers 98 hectares of land, construction of infrastructure and factories for two firms will be launched in September, Yang said.

"In the near future the park needs at least an additional 600 hectares of land to meet potential investors' demand," Yang said.

NSC officials reported that 13 firms from precision industries and five pharmaceutical companies had contacted the science park's office regarding future investment opportunities.

Officials said these domestic firms had invested in China since the late 1990s but considered shifting their firms back to Taiwan because its investment environment has improved significantly.

"The high-tech cluster effect has been seen at the park," NSC Deputy Minister Chi Gou-chung (紀國鐘) said.

Most of the land adjacent to the Taichung site belongs to the Ministry of National Defense and state-run Taiwan Sugar Corporation.

Chi said that the council would do its best to communicate with owners of nearby land.