No one would have any doubt that Taiwan is an international semiconductor powerhouse. With such a large manufacturing base, the consumption of specialty gases is also phenomenal.

Therefore, this was the perfect platform for the Asia Industrial Gas Association (AIGA) to hold its safety seminar for electronic specialty gases in Taipei, Taiwan.

The event, titled Electronic Specialty Gases Safety Seminar 2010 Taiwan, was held on 9th September 2010 at the National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT) in Taipei and attracted 210 delegates from a range of gas companies, end-users, colleges and research institutes, and government departments.

The Council of Labor Affairs of the local government fulfilled a role as one of the organisers, together with AIGA, the Taiwan High Pressure Gases Industrial Association (THPGIA), and the National Taipei University of Technology. The event was arranged at the time of the Semicon Taiwan 2010.

At the opening speech, Mr Fuh Hwan-Ran, Director of the Department of Labor Safety & Health from the Council of Labor Affairs, stressed that, “Safety is the core value of the gas business and the key to the sustainability of business.”

Mr Su Jaw-Tzong, Chairman of the THPGIA, supported this statement and pointed out that safety is very important to the livelihood of the workers and their families, which in turn will influence the society and the whole country.

Dr Tsu-tian LEE, the President of NTUT, thanked all of the eight speakers from Europe, the US, Japan and the surrounding local areas for sharing their experiences with us openly.

The topics covered include an overview of the past incidents, sub-atmospheric gases delivery systems, and some safety issues on chlorine, arsine, phosphine, ammonia and silane.

The speakers gave specific details and improvements to be made from the experience of previous incidents which is helpful for the delegates to review their own systems and procedures.

During the break, Mr Jerrold Sameth of Matheson, one of those speakers, explained to gasworld the extensive work done by AIGA on standards and the hope that the relevant companies would really make good use of them.

Seoul seminar
Following the Taipei seminar, another Electronic Specialty Gases Safety Seminar was also held on 14th September in Seoul, Korea, another country renowned for its developments in the electronics, semiconductor and photovoltaic industries.

The seminar was held at the Grand Intercontinental hotel and attracted 200 participants from the community of electronic specialty gases producers and end-users.

The seminar in Seoul was organised jointly with the Korea Industrial & Specialty Gases Association (KISGA) and the Korea Gas Safety Corporation (a government-linked organisation associated with gas safety certification and promotion), illustrating the prime importance of the subject to the local gas community and the valuable support provided by the local government.

The panel of speakers included most of the speakers from the Taiwan seminar of earlier, as well as local speakers from those gas companies in Korea. The seminar was conducted in both English and Korean, with simultaneous interpretation.

Both of the seminars were organised with the local participants in mind, with regional topics and content tailored specifically for the local conditions and nuances in the Asia/North Pacific region.

The organisers are said to be very pleased with the success of these two Electronic Specialty Gases Seminars.

Meanwhile, AIGA has published documents on the codes of practice for arsine, phosphine and silane and also the safe handling of electronic specialty gases. These documents can be downloaded from the website of AIGA.