Last month it was revealed that TSMC was unable to obtain land to build a future advanced silicon wafer processing plant on a server in Taiwan due to opposition from local residents. Experts explain that by 2024-2025, TSMC will be forced to decide on the choice of a new location for the construction of this company in order to maintain the pace of development of new technological processes.
TSMC doesn’t have many alternatives from a geographical perspective, analysts explain DigiTimes Research. The company’s plans to expand chip production in the United States, Japan and Germany do not invalidate its commitment to expanding production capacity in Taiwan. Suitable locations could be found in Taichung (west of the island), Tainan (southwest) and Kaohsiung (south of the island). In the latter case, favorable factors include the proximity of a large port and the expansion of the supplier infrastructure due to the presence of a competitor UMC plant in the region. There will be no problems with the allocation of land – the local authorities agree to locate at least two TSMC companies in Kaohsiung.
The problem for Taiwan’s southern regions remains water resources, which are needed in large quantities to produce chips. Of course, in the southwest of the island, in Tainan, there are special reservoirs and water treatment plants that can compensate for the impact of possible interruptions in the natural flow of water, but near Kaohsiung, such problems are almost inevitable, according to experts. In general, power interruptions are also typical for all areas of Taiwan, as the island’s power grid cannot handle them during peak load times, and manufacturing chips using advanced technologies is a fairly energy-intensive activity. Solar and wind energy cannot yet compensate for the island’s energy supply problems.
Since TSMC intends to start producing 2nm or even 1.4nm products by 2027, the company will have to decide on the choice of location for the construction of the corresponding company by 2024-2025, as the construction of buildings and their equipment with technology equipment with its subsequent configuration It only takes at least a year and a half. Human resources are more diverse in the north of the island, but given Taiwan’s limited size, their redistribution will not be a major problem when building a new TSMC plant in the south.