Wednesday 22 November 2017

Amazon plots its latest Irish data centre as sales hit record

Amazon has acquired an additional site in Tallaght
Amazon has acquired an additional site in Tallaght
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Internet giant Amazon is set to build another multi-million euro data centre in Ireland, having acquired an additional site in Tallaght, south Dublin.

It will confirm its position as the biggest data centre operator in the country. The company has invested well over €1bn in its Irish assets.

The company bought a site last year in Tallaght that was previously the base of warehousing and distribution firm Barretts.

Amazon has already begun the planning process that will eventually see a data centre built on the premises.

One of the first stages involves demolishing the existing buildings there, and it has applied for planning permission to do so.

It will be Amazon's fourth data centre in Tallaght.

It acquired a former Tesco distribution centre in the suburb in 2010, and converted it to a 22,300sq m data centre.

Last year, it began preparing the former Jacobs biscuits site in Tallaght for a data centre project. It bought that site in 2014.

It was granted planning permission in May 2016 for a huge 22,000sq m data centre at the location. Up to 50 full-time staff will be employed at that site.

It also converted a site formerly home to Shinko Microelectronics in Tallaght to a data centre.

Amazon also has other data centres in the capital.

Last year, it embarked on the construction of a project on a huge site close to Dublin Airport, at the Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park.

The site was formerly home to GE Superabrasives. The former GE factory and associated offices extends over 18,441sq m, or almost 200,000sq ft, on a total site of 9.3 hectares.

GE put the site up for sale at the end of 2013 with a €5m price tag.

In 2015, Amazon secured planning permission for another vast data centre, in Blanchardstown.

It already has two data centres there.

Amazon also has offices in Cork, where it has around 840 customer service and other staff.

It employs around 900 people in its data services operations there.

While Amazon uses its data centres for its own operations, they're also used for its web services business, where it offers data hosting to other companies. Its global clients include firms such as Airbnb, Unilever and Angry Birds maker Rovio.

The company's web services business is expected to have contributed about $11.8bn (€11.19bn) in revenue to the group during 2016, representing about 8.6pc of its total.

But the unit is also Amazon's most profitable. It's been speculated that the division could be worth as much as $180bn as a standalone business. Amazon has a total market capitalisation of $376bn.

Amazon has described the latest Christmas period as its best ever.

The retailer's sales rose as customers snapped up items such as its voice-recognition Alexa speaker system, which allows users to select music, place Amazon orders and even buy takeaways.

Its fastest 'Prime Now' delivery on Christmas Eve took just 13 minutes.

Irish Independent

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