Social media giant Facebook is planning to invest €300m in further data centres beside its existing data centre facility in Clonee, Co Meath.
The company broke ground on its original €200m data centre in Clonee two years ago on a 220-acre campus that left room for further expansion.
The project generated around 600 construction jobs as well as 100 full-time staff to operate the facility.
According to a report in The Sunday Times at the weekend, Facebook is planning to invest €300m to build two new data centre buildings adjacent to its existing data centre.
The data centre buildings will span over 57,000 square metres and their construction could pave the way for 1,400 construction jobs. That would be the equivalent of eight times the size of the pitch at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The expansion is planned for 200 acres of agricultural land near the Dublin-Meath border.
Facebook’s workforce in Ireland has grown from an initial 80 jobs announced in 2009 to some 2,500 people at its Silicon Docks international headquarters in Dublin today. The company is rumoured to be expanding in Dublin with the potential to generate up to 1,000 jobs both on Dublin’s northside as well as a new campus tipped for Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Ireland pushes forward despite major setbacks
Ireland is still a haven for data centre projects despite massive setbacks such as Apple’s decision not to go ahead with a data centre project in Athenry, Galway, due to extended planning and legal delays.
In the aftermath of the loss of the Apple data centre in Athenry, the Government published a new policy statement outlining Ireland’s construction approach to securing future data centres, ensuring no such delays will occur again and that future projects will be bolstered by joined-up thinking on planning and energy policy.
A report published by Host In Ireland in association with Bitpower, The Data Centre: Q1 2018, found that more than €1.1bn will be invested in data centre construction on Irish shores this year, bringing the cumulative investment for data centres in the country to €5.7bn, with the potential to reach €9bn by 2021.
A large cluster of the 46 data centres currently operating in Ireland are based in south-west Dublin and, with a number of others around the country still being built, this will rise significantly in the very near future.