Sunday 22 September 2019

Google buys up Danish plot as data delays haunt Ireland

Google has taken initial steps to build a new data centre in Copenhagen. Stock photo: Bloomberg via Getty
Google has taken initial steps to build a new data centre in Copenhagen. Stock photo: Bloomberg via Getty
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Google has taken initial steps to build a new data centre in Copenhagen, close to where Apple has prioritised its second Danish data centre.

The move suggests that Ireland's reputation for facilitating large infrastructural projects is in tatters, with Apple having pulled back from commencement on its planned €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway.

Google has purchased a plot of land in southern Denmark for the possible expansion of its data centre business there, the company said. The facility would be situated beside a second Apple data centre in Denmark.

Apple announced its second Danish investment after it spent almost 18 months bogged down in planning hearings over the proposed Athenry facility.

Having finally obtained a green light to proceed with the Galway project, the company has declined to say whether it will now continue with the plan.

Facebook also recently chose the Scandinavian country for its next major data centre. Both Google and Facebook currently operate data centres in Ireland.

"There has been reputational damage to Ireland from what is happening in Athenry," said Tanya Duncan, managing director of Interxion, one of the biggest 'carrier neutral' data centre companies in Ireland.

"This is especially so among the hyperscale players at the level of the Amazons and the Googles. There will be big companies who are thinking about putting their data centres in Ireland and now wondering 'is there something up here?' There would now be certain organisations questioning the option."

Planning woes have haunted Ireland this year, with infrastructural deficits cited as the main reason for the country's failure to land the Rugby World Cup tournament in 2023.

The head of the IDA, Martin Shanahan, recently described as "disappointing" the situation around Apple's delayed data centre.

Irish Independent

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