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Parts of Taiwan Go Dark After Plant Failure Triggers Outage

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(Bloomberg) -- Major cities across Taiwan, home to some of the world’s biggest chip industry players, were hit by a widespread power outage Thursday after a power station in the southern city of Kaohsiung suddenly went offline.

The outage hit parts of Taipei and Kaohsiung as well as Tainan, home to a science park housing facilities of companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Innolux Corp., according to the Taipei-based Apple Daily newspaper. Taipower, the nation’s major provider of electricity, said power supply returned to normal at 8:00 p.m. local time.

Some TSMC facilities experienced a brief power dip but the power supply is currently normal, the company said in an emailed statement. Operations at ASE Technology Holding Co., the world’s largest chip packaging and testing services provider, had been affected, the company said in a text message, but the full impact was yet to be determined.

All three major science parks throughout Taiwan were at least partly impacted, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement. Employees and shoppers reported outages had affected offices and department stores in Taipei City.

Four units at the Hsinta plant coal- and gas-fired plant stopped generating power shortly after 2:30 p.m., according to a text message from the government’s public warning system. Taiwan’s water shortage was one of the key reasons behind the slow return of power, Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua said at a briefing late on Thursday.

Almost 6.2 million households would be affected by three rounds of power cuts between 3pm and 5:30pm, the state-run utility Taiwan Power Co. said in a text message.

(Updates with Taipower resuming supply in second paragraph.)

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