TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan launched island-wide power outages Monday night following a surge in demand amid a heat wave, drought and power plant failure, the second such outage in the global technology center in a week.
The staged blackouts hit Taiwan, which major chipmakers like TSMC call home, on Thursday following a plant outage in the southern city of Kaohsiung that worried investors amid a global chip shortage.
It was not immediately clear whether Monday’s power outage affected TSMC or other semiconductor companies, which have factories across the island. TSMC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taipower said 660,000 homes were affected by a first round of power outages and a decision would be made later in the day on whether to extend the outage.
Taipower blamed an increase in demand after a technical failure caused the suspension of some generators at the southern Hsinta power plant, the same facility that caused the problem last week.
The state-owned company said the worst drought to hit the island in more than half a century meant electricity generated by hydroelectric plants was insufficient to meet unexpected demand Monday night, a record for May.
By 8:40 p.m., only 40% of supply had been restored at the coal-gas power plant, Taipower said.
Taiwan’s cabinet offered an apology and urged citizens to stay safe.
The Taipei city government said parts of the city had already reported power outages.
Taiwan is experiencing an unusually hot May with temperatures in parts of the island peaking at around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
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