TSMC collaborates with CTCI Co. to build world’s first Industrial Reclaimed Water Plant to produce reclaimed Water used in advanced semiconductor processes.

TSMC S.T.S.P. Reclaimed Water Plant Commences Operation – The World’s First Industrial Reclaimed Water Plant for Advanced Semiconductor Processes

C.R. Lu
Howard Hou
Mei Lee
C.C. Hsu

TSMC is committed to promoting sustainable water management and actively practices water conservation, establishing liquid waste classification and distribution systems. Through its efforts, water reclamation in the fabs has effectively achieved the use of each drop of water 3.5 times. To further strengthen water usage efficiency, TSMC has been devoted to developing water recycling technologies, collaborating with government agencies to develop domestic wastewater recycling processes and industrial wastewater recycling technologies in compliance with tap water standards, as well as collaborating with CTCI Co. to build the first in the world, industrial reclaimed water plant dedicated to produce reclaimed water used in advanced semiconductor processes. In September 2022, TSMC S.T.S.P. (Southern Taiwan Science Park) Reclaimed Water Plant commenced operation. It will supply 10,000 metric tons per day of industrial reclaimed water by the end of 2022, moving towards the goal of diversifying water resources and sustainable water recycling.

Collaborating with Business Partners, Other Industries, Government Agencies, and Academia to Develop Innovative Technologies to Improve Quality of Reclaimed Water Supply

The quality, purity, and stable supply of water are crucial to wafer manufacturing. To make better use of every drop of water, TSMC has actively engaged in research and development of water recycling technologies since 2015, setting up a pilot plant for testing with wastewater samples extracted from site plants, improving reclaimed water quality by repeated testing and adjusting processing sequence and combinations. In response to stricter requirements for clean water from advanced processes and system operation optimization, as well as to make the quality of reclaimed water meet process specifications, TSMC has been collaborating with the Industrial Technology Research Institute, CTCI Co., National Taiwan University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University and other parties to develop and introduce innovative technologies such as a low-energy consumption biological treatment system, a low-energy consumption sludge processing system, high-efficiency urea removal. In addition, TSMC has cooperated with Tainan City Government and Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration to establish a water supply model to ensure the quality of reclaimed water supply through multiple and real-time automated water quality monitoring.

TSMC S.T.S.P. Reclaimed Water Plant is designated as the center of processing, monitoring, and supplying reclaimed water for TSMC’s fabs in Southern Science Park. In addition to producing industrial reclaimed water from treated wastewater from Southern Science Park, the plant also serves as a water quality monitoring station for municipal reclaimed water from Yongkang and Anping Water Reclamation Plants. Currently, TSMC is also investing in the R&D of wastewater thickening & reclamation by waste heat and sludge treatment & recycling technology to avoid the outflow of concentrated wastewater and further reduce the impact on the environment. It is estimated that the water supply capacity of S.T.S.P. Reclaimed Water Plant will be up to 36,000 metric tons per day in 2026, continuing to reduce the demand for city water consumption and forging an environmentally friendly approach.

TSMC S.T.S.P. Reclaimed Water Plant supply model

TSMC S.T.S.P. Reclaimed Water Plant supply model

Developing diversified water resources is a critical strategy for TSMC’s sustainable development on water stewardship. TSMC will continue to expand the usage of reclaimed water. In 2022, TSMC initiated the Hsinchu Science Park Reclaimed Water Plant Project which is planned to supply 10,000 m3/day of industrial reclaimed water in 2025 for 2nm process fabs along with municipal reclaimed water supply. In the future, new TSMC fabs in Hsinchu Science Park will use 100% reclaimed water. The aim is to achieve an over 60% replacement rate of reclaimed water for fabs in Taiwan in 2030, to enhance operational resilience and ensure sustainable action towards water recycling.

Milestones of Water Reclamation Technologies Development in TSMC