Facebook has confirmed it will proceed with the construction of a new data centre in Co Meath.
The €200 million centre, which is planned for a site in Clonee, Co Meath, is due to start construction in the next couple of months and will come online by early 2018 at the latest.
The company intends to build an initial 31,000sq m facility on the site, with planning permission for a second building already granted.
The project is expected to support about 2,000 jobs during the construction phase.
This will be the second data centre the company has built outside the US; the first was Lulea in Sweden, which opened in 2013. The Swedish facility employs about 150 people, and it is understood the Irish centre will employ a similar number of operations staff.
“Ireland has been home to Facebook’s international headquarters since 2009 and we’re excited to be investing further here,” said head of Facebook Ireland Gareth Lambe. “We want to innovate in Europe and for Europeans, and the Clonee data centre will house some of the big breakthroughs Facebook has made in this area. Like its predecessors, this project will generate hundreds of millions of euros in economic activity and support hundreds of jobs in the local community.”
The centre will use technology designed by Facebook’s open source Open Compute project, said Niall McEntegart, Facebook’s director of datacentre operations for EMEA and APAC. “There’s an ongoing need for more infrastructure capacity. It [the Clonee site] is excellent from a construction point of view. It’s pretty much shovel ready, with a really good power and network infrastructure.”
Chief executive of Meath county board Jackie Maguire said the county was hoping to attract further investment to the area as a result of Facebook’s investment.
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