Facebook has agreed to halt construction work at its Clonee, Ireland data centre, which was in the midst of a major expansion.
The decision to suspend construction comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused businesses around the world to temporarily shut up shop. However, the decision was taken against the advice of the Irish government, which recommended that construction sites remain open and simply practice social distancing.
Facebook says that it made the decision to close the construction site after discussions with its building contractor, Mace, noting that its first priority was to “protect the health and safety of people who work on our construction sites and the wider community during the Covid-19 outbreak.”
The Clonee data centre was Facebook’s first in Europe and was on-track to be doubled in size with the construction of two new buildings on the site. Work began last year, although a recent scare where some of the contractors working on the construction site were experiencing flu-like symptoms likely prompted Facebook’s decision to cease building work for the time being.
Thankfully, Facebook has pledged to support all of its employees and contractors during the coronavirus pandemic. It noted that those who lose work will receive an ‘appreciation bonus’, although the exact details of that bonus are undisclosed.
Facebook is obviously still keen to get the expanded site completed, and noted that it is ‘looking forward to welcoming workers back as soon as it is safe to do so’.