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Saturday 10 December 2016

Amazon to spend millions more on another Irish data centre

Published 16/10/2015 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the announcement that the online retailer Amazon is to create 300 new jobs in Dublin over the next two years.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the announcement that the online retailer Amazon is to create 300 new jobs in Dublin over the next two years.

Internet retail giant Amazon is planning to spend tens of millions of euro on another data centre at a site in Dublin - just months after completing a facility at the same location, the Irish Independent has learned.

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The cost of the project could easily reach over €100m, adding to the huge amount of money being spent by tech giants on infrastructure in Ireland.

Amazon has two data centre buildings at the Blanchardstown Business and Technology Park, where it has had operations since 2010.

"The proposed development involves the development of a new building as part of an enlarged data centre complex at this location," architects for Amazon have told the local council.

Amazon only recently completed what it calls the DUB052 data centre at the technology park, and has another data centre on the same site.

The new data centre building will be built over two storeys and have 16,065 sq m of floorspace.

AECOM Engineers, a Los Angeles-headquartered firm with offices in Ireland, is leading construction of the new centre.

In the past, AECOM has worked on projects including T2 at Dublin Airport and the Grand Canal square and theatre in the capital.

During the summer PlanNet 21 Communications opened a €20m data centre in Blanchardstown that extends over 1,500 sq m, including office space. Other firms also have data centres at the park.

Last November, Amazon announced that it plans to hire 300 more people in Dublin. It already has 1,400 employees in Ireland.

It has a significant presence in Cork, where more than 800 people are employed by the group in customer and seller support roles.

Amazon reckons that since it first arrived in Ireland in 2004, it has invested over €1.5bn in the local economy.

There's been speculation that the pace of data centre construction by US firms in Europe could accelerate following the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice that struck out the so-called Safe Harbour agreement that permits data transfers between the European Union and the United States, saying it violates privacy.

The boom in data centre construction here has seen global technology heavyweights including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google all opt to site facilities in Ireland, lured in part by its temperate climate, which reduces the running costs of the buildings, where huge racks of servers emit heat that needs to be dissipated.

During the summer, Google announced plans to expand its data centre footprint at Grangecastle in Dublin.

It will spend €150m to build a facility about twice the size of the new one being planned by Amazon.

Apple intends to build a huge data centre complex in Athenry, Co Galway. It received the go-ahead for the €850m project from the local council last month.

In July, Facebook got the all-clear from Meath County Council to build a €200m data centre in Clonee that will extend over 18,580 sq m.

A report prepared recently for the Irish Wind Energy Association said that a surge in data centre construction in Ireland means €1.36bn could need to be invested in Irish renewable energy infrastructure to meet the associated electricity demand.

Because of its fibre infrastructure, Dublin has been the traditional target for data centre construction.

However, new global data cables are being linked into cities such as Cork, making it a more attractive proposition for data centres.

Irish Independent

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