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Talk of the Day -- Precision industry to have new home

2012/08/17 23:08:54

A new precision industry cluster will emerge in Changhua County as the Executive Yuan has approved an initiative to transform the Erlin site of the Central Taiwan Science Park from an optoelectronics stronghold into a precision industry powerhouse.

According to media reports, some 10 companies, including renowned Giant Bicycles Co. and Hiwin Technologies, have shown keen interest in building production facilities in the Erlin park in Changhua County.

Yang Wen-ke, director-general of the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration, said Friday that more than 150 companies sent representatives to an investment roadshow organized by his office two days earlier.

"Nearly 10 of those companies have since expressed keen interest in setting up footholds in the Erlin park," Yang said.

The following are excerpts from a special report in the Friday edition of the United Evening News on the Erlin park development project:

Giant Bicycles Chairman King Liu was scheduled to meet with Yang Friday to discuss technical details about the company's plan to set up a research and development center and global operations headquarters in the Central Taiwan Science Park's existing site in Taichung City.

Yang told reporters before his meeting with Liu that he would strongly lobby Giant Bicycles to locate its new R&D center and global operations headquarters in Erlin park instead of Taichung park.

"The Erlin park covers 631 hectares of land while the Taichung park has already hosted a large number of factories," Yang said.

The Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) has three arms, located in Taichung, Changhua and Yunlin, respectively.

The Erlin site was originally designed to house optoelectronics firms, but the National Science Council (NSC), which administers the country's various science parks, decided to transform it into a new precision industry stronghold due to environmental disputes.

Farmers in the vicinity of the Erlin park have staged a series of protests against the development project as they are afraid that massive water consumption by optoelectronics companies in the park could affect water supply for their farming operations.

Under the transformation project, Erlin park will host mainly low emission and low water-consuming factories.

The share of the optoelectronic industry in the Erlin park will be limited to 20 percent, from the original 60 percent, and heavy water-consuming flat panel display firms will be barred from entering the park, Yang said.

Both the NSC and the CTSP Administration have stepped up efforts to attract precision industry makers at home and abroad to invest in the Erlin park since the Cabinet approved the transformation project earlier this year.

Some precision industry companies have already begun construction of production facilities in the Erlin park which are scheduled for completion by the end of this year and will begin commercial operations in the second half of 2013, Yang said.

By 2020, he said, the park will host dozens of precision industry makers which will provide 30,000 jobs and generates an annual production value of NT$480 billion. (Aug. 17, 2012).

(By Sofia Wu)