TSMC Factory Plans Raising Environmental Concerns

The 450mm Fab in Central Taiwan not getting a warm welcome

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is one of the few semiconductor manufacturers that still seeks to expand its production capacity, but its new building plans aren't exactly being welcomed with open arms.

While TSMC's idea for a plant in the US is going forward well, its home plans aren't enjoying the same sort of candor.

For those unaware, the world-leading foundry wants to construct a new 450mm fab at the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP). The construction is set to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

It wasn't long ago that the administration of the Central Taiwan Science Park presented its evaluation and health-risk assessment plan for the first 450mm wafer fab, reports China Economic News Service.

Local residents who live near the Taichun City already accuse the CTSP factories of illegal sewage discharge at night.

Building yet another plant there will only compound the problem, especially with environmental activists claiming that CTSP causes frequent flooding.

Semiconductor plants don't suffer the brunt of the backlash, since they don't actually cause much pollution themselves. They use a lot of energy though, and water.

Right now, it is hard to say what quantities of these resources TSMC's planned new plant will require.

Given the worth of the land though ($13.7 billion / 10.35 billion Euro), it can be assumed that they will be high. 53.63 hectares is a lot.

For those who want specifics, the location is a mothballed military ammunition depot. TSMC gained approval for using it as a fab back in June.

Taiwan's government will spend NT$6.7 billion ($232 million / 175 million Euro) on the land and draw investments for 7,000 jobs.

Overall, TSMC's project is facing disapproval on the part of environmentalists, but not enough to bring it to a halt. The assessment won't be complete until the end of 2013 though, which means that the project could still crash and burn.

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