Taiwan's TSMC says suffered a brief power dip, electricity now restored

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, said some of its facilities experienced a “brief power dip” on Thursday after an island-wider power outage, raising concerns that a global chip shortage could worsen.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is seen during an investors’ conference in Taipei, Taiwan April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

The shortage began late last year and has since affected several industries, from automobiles to smartphones and home appliances, forcing many car makers to halt production lines.

It was worsened in recent months by a fire at a chip plant in Japan and blackouts in Texas, where a number of chipmakers have factories.

Officials at three major science parks in Hsinchu, Tainan and Taichung, where TSMC, and other semiconductor firms all have large operations, told Reuters there was no impact on the operations of the chipmakers.

Power was restored by mid-evening.

Shares in TSMC traded up 0.016% in New York.

“Certain TSMC’s facilities experienced a brief power dip in the afternoon of May 13 due to an outage at the Hsinta Thermal Power Plant,” TSMC said in a statement.

“Electricity is currently being supplied as normal. TSMC has taken emergency response measures and prepared generators to minimize potential impact.”

Another major Taiwanese chipmaker, United Microelectronics Corp, told Reuters production and operations of the Hsinchu fabs “remain normal because there was no power outage nor voltage drop”.

“The Tainan fabs experienced voltage drop, but no production or operations were affected,” it added.

TSMC, whose clients include Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc, has said tackling the chip shortage remained its top priority.

Last month, Chief Executive C C Wei said TSMC had worked with customers since January to reallocate more capacity to support the auto industry.

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