© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) logo, Hsinchu
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwanese chipmakers are buying water by truck for some of their foundries as the island expands restrictions on water supply amid a drought that could exacerbate chip supply shortages for the industry global automotive. Some automakers have already been forced to cut production and Taiwan had received requests for help to overcome the shortage of car chips from countries like the United States and Germany. Taiwan, a key hub in the global technology supply chain for giants like Apple Inc (NASDAQ :), will kick off Thursday to further reduce water supplies for factories in the central and southern cities where major parks are located. scientists. Water levels in several reservoirs in the central and southern region of the island are below 20%, after months of low rainfall and a rare typhoon-free summer. “We have planned for the worst,” Taiwanese Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters on Tuesday. “We hope that companies can reduce their water use by between 7% and 11%.” With a limited rain forecast for the coming months, Taiwan Water Corporation said this week that the island has entered the “most difficult time.” Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chip maker, this week began ordering small amounts of water by truck to supply some of its facilities across the island. “We are making preparations for our future demand for water,” TSMC told Reuters, describing the move as a “pressure test.” The chip giant said it has seen no impact on production. Both Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation and United Microelectronics Corp signed contracts with tanker trucks and said there was no impact on production. Vanguard said it started a drill to transport water by truck to its facilities in the northern city of Hsinchu. Taiwanese tech companies have long complained of chronic water shortages, exacerbated after factories increased production following a trade war between China and the United States.