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Truck Driver Is Killed in Episode at TSMC’s Arizona Semiconductor Plant

Truck Driver Is Killed in Episode at TSMC’s Arizona Semiconductor Plant
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The driver of a waste disposal truck died on Wednesday, the police said, from injuries he received at the Phoenix campus of the chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The site is under construction.

The truck driver, identified by the Phoenix Police Department as Cesar Anguiano-Guitron, 41, was a contractor. No TSMC employees or construction workers were injured, according to an earlier statement from the company.

According to the Phoenix police, Mr. Anguiano-Guitron had been transporting waste material away from the construction site in his tractor-trailer when the episode occurred. As he inspected some equipment, the police said, pressure was suddenly released, and Mr. Anguiano-Guitron was struck by a blunt object and thrown over 20 feet from the trailer.

TSMC, which makes a majority of the world’s advanced semiconductors, has been building its campus in Arizona since 2021. Last month, the Biden administration awarded the company a $6.6 billion grant under the CHIPS and Science Act in a bid to bring cutting-edge chip making to the United States.

TSMC has long dominated the global chip supply chain from its home base in Taiwan. Driven by a chip shortage and China’s increasingly hostile stance toward Taiwan, which Beijing claims is part of its territory, world leaders have spent billions to entice the company to expand to their shores. Over the past four years, TSMC has committed to build new factories in Japan, Germany and Arizona.

The company said its site on the northern outskirts of Phoenix would eventually house three factories. But work has been repeatedly delayed as construction unions in Arizona raised safety concerns and objected to TSMC bringing workers from Taiwan to help install sophisticated equipment. The first factory is now expected to begin producing chips in 2025, and a second in 2028. Federal officials have said they expect that TSMC’s planned site in Arizona will create 6,000 chip manufacturing jobs and more than 20,000 construction jobs.

Semiconductor manufacturing is complex and involves specialized chemicals and materials. Mr. Anguiano-Guitron was driving a tank truck containing sulfuric acid, TSMC said in a statement to the news media in Taiwan.

Arizona has become a top destination for chip-related spending. More than $100 billion in new semiconductor investments have been announced since the CHIPS Act was introduced, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

After TSMC unveiled its plans to build a U.S. hub in 2020, several Taiwanese companies that supply it with chemicals said they would follow suit. Some even bought land. But they have held back while progress on the plant slowed.

Amy Chang Chien contributed research.



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