TSMC trucking in more water as droughts intensify

Posted on Friday, March 19 2021 @ 9:46 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
TSMC logo
Global chip production has been unable to meet demand for quite some time now and things may get even worse. As we already reported last month, Taiwan is hit by droughts as the country had an unusually dry rain season. The island is home to a very large semiconductor supply chain and this is an industry that requires a lot of water. A lot of water gets recycled of course, but due to the size of the industry, a lot of freshwater is still needed.

TSMC in need of more water

Weeks ago, TSMC started trucking in water and things are about to get worse as Taiwan's water reserves are drying up. WCCF Tech writes TSMC has ordered 100 water tankers but the site has some wrong calculations here and there as they assume a water truck can hold 20,000 tons. TSMC is not ordering general purpose tankers -- it's about water trucks so the 20,000 tons figure is totally unrealistic.

One large water truck has 20 tons of water and TSMC would need roughly 100 tankers a day to satisfy its entire water consumption. At the moment, the Taiwanese government has ordered companies in Hsinchu, where TSMC has its main base of operations, to cut water consumption by 11 percent. This comes down to around 10 tankers a day for TSMC.

Liberty Times reports Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Ms. Mei-Hua Wang has warned companies that the industrial water saving rate in Hsinchu, Miaoli, and Taichung may soon be increased to 15 percent.

Costs seem pretty limited

Overall, the extra cost of the water is relatively small for a company like TSMC. Liberty Times claims the 100 trucks cost 200 million yuan to start, which is just US$30,750. Basically, it seems more of a logistical issue as at this stage, the costs are really small versus the profit TSMC generates. Things are expected to get worse in the coming time, but at least for now, it doesn't seem to affect production.

TSMC trucking in the water

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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