ECCT trip to Taichung
The large ECCT delegation enjoyed a roundtable lunch with Mayor Jason Hu and senior government officials. Mayor Hu warmly welcomed the delegation and introduced senior colleagues from the Taichung city government who were seated at various table among members at the event.In his remarks at the lunch ECCT Chairman Giuseppe Izzo said that the large size of the ECCT delegation was a clear indication that many ECCT members are either already investors in Taichung or interested in doing business in the city. The chairman informed Mayor Hu that the ECCT had become a nation-wide association and aims to expand business activities and presence across the Taiwan. This will entail promoting business development as well as the most advanced standards and business practices across Taiwan. Chairman Izzo said that the lunch provided a welcome opportunity to talk with the mayor and his colleagues about areas where we the ECCT and the Taichung city government can cooperate for the benefit of ECCT members and the city of Taichung. The chairman concluded by saying that the chamber is in the process of setting up a Taichung committee to serve as a platform to work with the Taichung city government and that he hoped therefore that this would be just the first of many visits and exchanges between the ECCT and the Taichung city government.In his remarks Mayor Hu welcomed the delegation and offered an open invitation to ECCT members to approach any official in the city government if they need help related to administrative procedures in setting up or running their businesses. According the mayor, US$55 billion has been invested in Taichung over the past 10 years, bearing testimony to the city's attractiveness as place to do business. While much of the city's land has been developed, he said that there is still vacant land available for development. The mayor touted the city as cultural mecca in Taiwan given the caliber of visiting international artists and the high attendance by local citizens at performances and exhibitions of visiting artists and performers. The city has made considerable investments in beautifying the city through parks and green buildings, including the library, whose walls are adorned with 150,000 pot plants. The mayor added that the city's opera house, currently under construction, would be completed by the end of next year.TSMC Solar visit
Members were given an introductory presentation on TSMC Solar and shown the range of solar modules currently in production and those under development.Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) has grown to become the world's largest contract semiconductor manufacturer and one of Taiwan's most successful high-tech companies. The company's foray into solar energy is relatively recent – TSMC's solar and lighting business was launched in 2009. TSMC Solar's business primarily focuses on Copper Indium Gallium Selenium (CIGS) thin-film solar solutions. To accelerate business growth and gain access to competitive technologies, TSMC has made strategic investments and formed long term relationships with partners including CIGS technology developer, Stion Corporation and crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer, Motech Industries.
Construction began on the first production facility in the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung in 2010 and the first modules were delivered in April 2012.
TSMC Solar expects to achieve an efficiency rate of over 14% for its modules within a year and aims to become a cost-leader in thin-film solar technology by 2014. The company believes that greater efficiency improvements can be made in CIGS technology, compared to crystalline silicon. One great advantage of CIGS is that the production process is much simpler than with traditional PV panels and the entire module manufacturing process can be completed at one location (such as TSMC's Taichung facility) in just three days. Another advantage of CIGS is that the yield actually increases when modules are in operation owing to the light-soaking effect. TSMC's solar modules have a 25-year warranty. They are designed to withstand severe weather conditions including strong winds and snow loads. CIGS modules are ideal for residential and commercial buildings given their all-black, aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
While solar technology is still a more expensive renewable energy option than wind, costs are continuing to fall and solar is much more practical than wind for households and small businesses, where wind turbines are not suitable.
Hiwin Technologies visit
Members were given an extensive tour of Hiwin Technologies' headquarters in Taichung, which is also the site of one of the company's manufacturing facilities. The tour began with an introductory presentation and was followed by a live demonstration of the company's products and a tour of manufacturing facilities.
Hiwin develops and manufactures motion control and system technology components for products that require linear motion such as machine tools, medical equipment, vending machines, semiconductor manufacturing equipment and wind turbines, among others. Its products are sold under its own brand unlike many Taiwanese firms which produce products for other brands.