Google to invest more than $3bn in European data centres

Tech giant's multibillion-dollar investment will support 13,000 full-time jobs in the EU every year, Google CEO says.

    Google's European data centres are located in Finland, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands [File: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters]
    Google's European data centres are located in Finland, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands [File: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters]

    Google's top boss has announced that the United States-based technology giant is planning to invest three billion euros ($3.3bn) to expand its data centres across Europe in the next two years.

    Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said on Friday it will bring the company's total investments in the continent's internet infrastructure to 15 billion euros ($16.6bn) since 2007.

    Pichai's comments came as he met Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne in Helsinki. Pichai said the investments will support 13,000 full-time jobs in the European Union every year.

    The investment plan includes an additional 600 million euros ($662m) investment in the Hamina data centre in Finland, bringing total investment in the site to two billion euros ($2.2bn), Prime Minister Rinne told a joint news conference.

    "This is fantastic news for Finland," Rinne said.

    Google already has one data centre in Hamina, where it invested 800 million euros ($882m) to convert an old paper mill. It said in May it would invest 600 million euros ($662m) in a new data centre on the same site.

    Google bought the site from paper firm Stora Enso in 2009. The location is close to the border with Russia and uses seawater from the Gulf of Finland to reduce the energy used in cooling.

    Google's other European data centres are located in the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium.

    Renewable energy

    Pichai also noted that Google was investing heavily in renewable energy, an initiative announced ahead of global rallies calling for action to guard against climate change.

    Employees at Google and other big US technology companies such as Amazon and Microsoft planned to participate in the "global climate strike" on Friday.

    The Google project will include the construction of new energy infrastructure worth one billion euros ($1.1bn) in the EU, among them a new offshore wind project in Belgium, five solar energy projects in Denmark, and two wind energy projects in each Sweden and Finland.

    There are also projects in the US and Latin America.

    Pichai said that once these projects come online, Google's carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than territories like Washington, DC or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year.

    SOURCE: News agencies