Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) knew that his meeting with Sundar Pichai (CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company) and Kent Walker (global affairs & chief legal officer of Google) would be a crucial moment of his economic mission to the west coast of the United States. Received at the Mountain View headquarters, they spoke of “future joint projects in Luxembourg.”
In particular, the creation of an entity in Luxembourg in the field of cloud, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, where sales and promotion teams will be based.
The file on the Bissen data centre, which opened in 2016, was also among the subjects discussed. According to Bettel, who spoke to RTL: “For the moment, the data centre is not a priority for Google, because of the geopolitical situation and also because of energy issues. They still have Bissen on their agenda, but not on the priority agenda. That means I can’t promise anything.”
The administrative delays and appeals against the procedures have probably also cooled the Americans, who acquired the land in 2017 while the PAG (General development plan) was amended in 2019. Since then, discretion remains the order of the day around a project whose positive outcome is increasingly in doubt. All the more so since last October, Google acquired land in Belgium, in La Louvière, where it has long been rolled out the red carpet for 15 years, and where it has received a lot of support.
This article was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.