By Angelica Oung / Staff reporter
Taiwan’s semiconductor development could be in jeopardy if a proposed third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is blocked in a referendum on Saturday next week, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
LNG is a key part of Taiwan’s energy transition as a “bridge fuel” on the way to ending electricity generated by burning coal, Wang told an energy outlook forum in Taipei.
“People ask me why the third LNG terminal is necessary,” Wang said. “I tell them that without adequate energy, investors cannot build production facilities.”
This is especially true for the semiconductor industry, which Wang said is economically and strategically important for Taiwan, but also requires a lot of electricity and water.
“We have no choice but to keep cultivating the semiconductor industry,” she said. “The substantial semiconductor supply chain not only contributes to the economy, but to national security. A lot of countries are incentivized to collaborate with Taiwan because of our key role in the global semiconductor supply chain.”
Chipmakers, especially when it comes to advanced nodes, are some of the most power-intensive manufacturing facilities, she said.
Groups that advocate environmental protection have urged the government to move the planned LNG receiving terminal off Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) to protect algal reefs in the intertidal zone, even though CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) has pushed the project further from shore into water at least 18m deep.
Environmentalists are not satisfied with the compromise and advocate moving the project to Taipei Harbor.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has said that such a move would take about 11 years.
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