Environmentalists yesterday criticized a development at the Tainan Science Park proposed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and other manufacturers, saying that excessive water and electricity requirements would hurt local agriculture and generate pollution, and called for the establishment of an environmental management task force with jurisdiction over the park.
The proposed development, which would include a TSMC 12-inch wafer plant, is part of the second phase of an expansion project at the science park, which the Environmental Protection Administration approved in 2001.
However, the project will need to pass another environmental review, as the proposal would increase the approved expansion’s water consumption by 25 percent to 250,000m3 per day and electricity by 46 percent to 2.22 gigawatts per day.
Photo: Chen Wei-han, Taipei Times
The proposal would source water from local irrigation systems until several planned water facilities — including a water reclamation plant and a seawater desalination plant in Tainan’s Yongkang (永康) and Jiangjun (將軍) districts respectively — are completed by 2022.
Taiwan Water Resources Conservation Union standing director Wu Li-hui (吳麗慧) said developers should not vie with farmers for water, which would worsen the effects of prolonged droughts in central and southern Taiwan in recent years, and that the government has prioritized agricultural water use over industrial use.
The committee in charge of the project’s environmental review should withhold approval until sources of water are secured that prevent irrigation water from being diverted for industrial use, Wu said.
Fight for Health Women’s Group representative Hsu Hsin-hsin (許心欣) said that TSMC’s proposed wafer plant is encouraging unsustainable development, as the facility would consume 7 megawatts of electricity per day, which is the equivalent to the daily consumption of half of the households in Tainan.
Tainan is classified as a category three air pollution area — the worst possible in the nation’s three-tier rankings — and pollution-intensive industries should no longer be allowed in the city, Hsu said.
Taiwan Water Resources Conservation Union director Jennifer Nien (粘麗玉) called for the establishment of a monitoring and assessment task force responsible for environmental management at the Tainan Science Park and a nearby industrial park in the Sinshih District (新市), similar to long-existing examples at the Central Taiwan Science Park and the Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park.
The proposed increase in electricity consumption is almost equal to the capacity of a power plant in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) and the developer should review options to offset the expanded water and power requirements, such as a green energy procurement program, the review committee said, adding that a further review would not occur until the developer submits a plan with more effective solutions.
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