Google invests 1bn euros in new Belgian data centre

Google is to build a new data centre in Farciennes, in the province of Hainaut. This accounts for an investment of 1 billion euros. The company will also expand an existing data centre in Saint-Ghislain, about 60km away. 

Google has received a permit to build a new data centre in Farciennes, one of the poorest municipalities in Wallonia. The permit comes with conditions attached, related to a host of environmental, mobility and landscape issues. Among other things, the tech giant must opt for sustainable cooling systems and must ensure that 90 percent of the energy consumed is carbon-free by 2025. The new data centre should help meet the growing demand for Google's AI and cloud services.

At the same time, Google will expand its data centre in Saint-Ghislain, which has been in existence since 2010 and employs over 400 people. Nearly 3 billion euros has already been invested in operations there. As the company seeks to step up its carbon-free energy efforts, it will upgrade its existing data centre with a photovoltaic park that will help Google achieve its goal of zero net emissions from all its operations and its value chain by 2030.

Altogether, this amounts to an investment of 1 billion euros. It will also create jobs: at least 100 in the new data centre and an additional 100 in Saint-Ghislain. Between 2007 and 2020, Google reportedly supported an average of 2,800 jobs a year and contributed almost 3 billion euros to Belgium's GDP.


The Google Data Centre in Saint-Ghislain | © BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ

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