Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has acquired a 90-hectare plot of land in the Hsinchu Science Park industrial park, home to five TSMC plants.
The new site will be used to develop 2nm process node semiconductors, from around 2026, pending local approval.
The Ministry of Science and Technology is currently evaluating the potential environmental impact of the facility, which will be built on unbuilt land, home to trees, a variety of plants, and a rare local butterfly species.
TSMC has created an 'eco task force' as part of the planning approval process and may look to replant some trees and retain some rare plants.
The Bamboo Science Management Bureau of the Ministry of Science and Technology is particularly concerned about the risk of earthquakes, it said in a review meeting, noting that that required more planning to build in mitigations.
Its environmental impact assessment group also asked for a waste treatment plant to be included, set out air pollution emission offset measures, and follow-up inspection practices in the park. It also evaluated the feasibility of increasing the recovery rate of volatile organic compounds.
Another key issue is that of water use. Taiwan is in the midst of its worst drought in over 57 years, with farmers paid to let their crops die so that what little water is left can go to industrial processes, including chip development.
The environmental impact assessment group said that it wanted to increase the area of the nearby Keya River restoration zone to help mitigate any additional water use from the fab.
It also wants to help formulate groundwater reuse plans, and strengthen water management plans to maintain agricultural irrigation and drainage functions downstream of the business park.
Further discussions are planned before the project is given the green light.