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ASE to apply for resumption of operation on suspended plant quickly
Central News Agency
2013-12-20 11:31 PM
Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc.(ASE) said Friday that it regretted Kaohsiung city government's decision to shut down one of its plants in southern Taiwan, and said it would apply for permission to resume operation as soon as possible. Kaohsiung's Environmental Protection Bureau said earlier Friday that due to ASE's gross pollution violations, it has decided to shut down several assembly lines of the plant that had been releasing pollutants.

ASE is the world's largest IC packaging and testing services provider. The company said it regretted the decision, but said it would address deficiencies, make improvements and apply to resume operations quickly to mitigate impact of the plant shutdown. Joseph Tung, ASE's chief financial officer, said the closure could cause the company to lose up to US$18 million per month.

He said the company has adopted an emergency mechanism, hoping to minimize the impact on its clients. Although the shutdown has an impact on the company, it's "still within control," he said. He noted that ASE has actively communicated with its clients to maintain an established mutual trust and cooperative relation with most of them. The K7 plant has a monthly output value of nearly US$58 million, accounting for around 9 percent of ASE's total sales. Tung said that there are around 5,000 workers in the plant, and they are valuable assets of the company. Around 1,900 of them will be affected by the shutdown. They will get paid and their working rights will be protected as the company strives to cut short the period of suspension, Tung said. ASE Chairman Jason Chang also went to Kaohsiung to talk with the workers and senior executives there, pledging to ensure their working rights, according to Tung. Meanwhile, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Woody Tyzz-jiun Duh said the shutdown will have a negative effect on the industry. "Three months will be the longest period of tolerance," Duh said, adding that a longer suspension could result in a domino effect on the supply chain and hurt Taiwan's competitive advantage in the semiconductor sector. He said that improving treatment facilities for industrial wastewater is the path ASE should pursue, and the ministry will step up counseling measures to help the company rectify the problem so that it can resume operations quickly. Duh noted a comprehensive supply chain is the feature of Taiwan's semiconductor industry, with IC design in the upper-stream, foundry in the mid-stream and packaging and testing in the down-stream. Institutional investors predicted that the shutdown will cost the company less than three percent of its total sales. (By Lin Meng-jui, Jalen Chung and Lilian Wu)

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