Amazon planning €1bn data centre campus in Dublin

An artist’s impression of the data centre plan for the capital

John Mulligan

Internet giant Amazon is planning to build a €1bn data centre campus in Dublin as it tackles a global surge in the use of its web services, as well as its own online shopping network.

The company has just submitted plans to build a huge, 20,739 sq metre (223,000 sq feet) data centre in Mulhuddart, close to a huge biologics facility owned by pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The data centre is likely to cost up to €200m. But Amazon said it might build as many as seven more data centres at the 26-hectare location owned by the IDA, which is due to become a data-storage facility campus. That could involve an estimated future spend of another €700m. Those data centres would each be smaller than the one currently planned.

Construction of the latest Amazon data centre - codenamed 'Project G' - is set to begin this year and will take about 18 months to complete. At the peak construction phase, about 400 workers are expected to be on site.

Amazon, headed by founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos, has just applied to Fingal County Council for permission to build the data centre, which will bring the total it has around the capital close to 10.

It already has a number of data centres nearby, in Blanchardstown. It is also building a massive data centre beside Dublin Airport, at the Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park. The site was formerly home to GE Superabrasives. Amazon also has three data centres in the south of the city, around Tallaght.

Earlier this year, it secured permission to begin demolition work at a site that was previously the base of warehousing and distribution firm Barretts in Tallaght in preparation for a new data centre there.

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 was granted planning permission in May 2016 for a 22,000sq m data centre at the location.

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

Amazon uses its data centres for its own internet operations, but also for its web services business, which offers data hosting to other companies. Its global clients include firms such as Netflix, Expedia, Unilever and Kellogg's.

Amazon said it had chosen the site in Mulhuddart for its latest data centre, partly because it is close to its other facilities in the area.

Other tech giants including Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have also chosen Ireland has a location for major data centre projects. Facebook is building a €200m data centre in Clonee, Co Meath.