Facebook brings forward €200m Clonee data centre build

Facebook has brought forward construction plans for a second building at its €200m data centre in Clonee, Co Meath, which will be the social media giant’s first in Ireland.

The decision to fast-track the second building — which will now be built concurrently with the first — was taken in response to an increase in demand since Facebook made the initial announcement in January.

The development of the second facility, for which planning permission has also been granted, will bring the total size of the facility to 57,690 sq m — eight times the size of the Aviva Stadium.

A third building on the same site will follow at a later date. Speaking as ground was broken at the Clonee site yesterday, Facebook vice-president of infrastructure, Tom Furlong said the centre could be operational end of next year.

“Our next big milestone should be what we call serving traffic and that’s probably 18 months down the road — the end of 2017 [or] early 2018… We’ll have done the fibre optic cabling in it, we’ll have the networking and we’ll be connected to the Facebook network and we’ll have the initial servers in with all the appropriate systems uploaded on them so we can actually take user traffic and start to serve it,” Mr Furlong said.

Approximately 2,000 temporary workers will be employed with 300 or so on site at any one time during the build of what will be Facebook’s second such data centre after its facility in Luleå in Sweden. 

Like Luleå which has seen increased interest and investment since Facebook’s facility opened, Clonee could benefit similarly.

“Sometimes I think an investment like this is a lighthouse that shines the light on a location. I think our site selection process is very thorough and takes in a lot of considerations.

“I find you seem to see clusters of these types of investments and the fact we’re the first in Co Meath hopefully others will come as well,” said Mr Furlong.

Facebook also announced the new data centre, as well as its international headquarters in Dublin, will be supplied with 100% renewable wind energy from Brookfield Renewable’s Irish operations. 

The company recently announced the creation of a further 200 jobs in Dublin in 2016, to add to the 1,300 employees it has.


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