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Semiconductor project in north Taiwan held up by environmental concerns

Hsinchu Science Park asked to provide information about water supply by April 30

Hsinchu Science Park faces questions about a TSMC project in Baoshan 

Hsinchu Science Park faces questions about a TSMC project in Baoshan  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A project in Hsinchu Science Park’s Baoshan, which includes a 2 nanometer chip factory for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), needs to supply more information about water, electricity and other environmental issues before it can move ahead, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Friday (Feb. 26).

The government request comes amid concern that a drought following a rare year without typhoons could affect the water supply, a necessity for semiconductor manufacturers.

The project in the Hsinchu County township of Baoshan will provide jobs for 2,500 people if it wins the approval of the authorities, CNA reported.

A second review meeting of the environmental impact report Friday ended with concerns related to the water and electricity supply, air pollution and earthquakes. The project managers were asked to provide information about how to address those concerns by April 30.

Local residents, including many farmers, worry the new project will draw away water they need for private consumption and for irrigation, so they insist Hsinchu Science Park should increase its supply of recycled water.

The location of Baoshan foundry on a fault line has also caused concerns, according to the report. TSMC and other chip companies were recently in the news for ordering trucks to ferry water to their fabs amid drought problems in several parts of Taiwan.