POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Google sets 14 July data centre deadline



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Servers are seen inside a Google data centre, 24 February 2012. Image: Google 

Google has reportedly delivered an ultimatum to Luxembourg’s government over a 25-hectare site in Bissen-Roost.

Last week 100,7 radio reported that the US technology giant planned to build a €1bn data centre in the grand duchy.

The site is composed of several smaller plots, and was selected as it is near an electricity distribution centre operated by Creos.

However, a recalcitrant farmer has apparently refused to sell his piece of land, the Wort reported. Étienne Schneider, the LSAP deputy prime minister, told the daily newspaper:

“We have been talking for several months. Google is now becoming nervous. The Americans do not understand why it takes so much time… They’re imposing a deadline next Friday.”

An alternative site is being vetted in Esch-Lallange, sources have told Paperjam.

If built, the Google data centre would be the largest consumer of electricity in Luxembourg, Schneider told the Wort.

Industrial power users pay a relatively low rate in the grand duchy compared to the rest of Europe, according to Eurostat figures.

In addition, the country’s electricity network is more stable. An industry publication, Data Economy, noted on 7 July that:

“According to the CEER Benchmarking Report, Luxembourg has Europe’s lowest average annual power outage time for clients connected to the grid at ten minutes.”

However, Google apparently has a possible plan B. According to the industry website Data Center Dynamics:

“The company currently operates five data centers in Europe, including two in Ireland, and one each in Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Last year, the company also bought 73.2 hectares in Denmark for $9.86m, on which it may or may not build a data center.”

A Google representative would not confirm any of the press reports. He told Delano on 10 July: “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation”.