Apple Cancels $1 Billion Irish Data Center Over Planning Delays

Apple scrapped the plans to build an 850 million euro ($1 billion) data center in Ireland due of delays in the approval process that have led the project to go on about more than three years. The announcement of plans was made in February 2015 by Apple to build the facility in the rural western town of Athenry which gives Apple an advantage of green energy sources nearby, but due to a series of planning appeals, mainly from two individuals, delayed its approval.

TheHigh Court of Ireland, in the month of October, ruled saying that the data center could proceed, thereby dismissing the appellants who then took their case to the Supreme Court of the country.

“Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans, and we will not be able to move forward with the data center,” Apple stated ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Thursday. The company added, “While this is disappointing, this setback will not lessen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” regarding plans for the expansion of its European headquarters in County Cork where it employs over 6,000 people.

Ireland completely depends on foreign multinational companies like Apple for creating one of every ten jobs across its economy. It also looks at major investments like these data centers as a means of securing their presence in the country. The government of Ireland is indulged in the process of amending and planning its laws to involve data centers as strategic infrastructure, thus by enabling them to get through the planning process much more easily and quickly.

A similar Apple center was announced in Denmark at the same time was due to begin its operations last year. In July, Apple announced that it is going to build its second EU data center in Denmark.

“There is no disputing that Apple's decision is very disappointing, specifically for Athenry and the West of Ireland,” Minister for Business and Enterprise Heather Humphreys, of Ireland, gave a statement. He also added saying that, “The Government did everything it could to support this investment. The delays occurred have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the State’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”

Source: Reuters