Possible new Google data centre confirms Belgium's role as digital pioneer
US internet giant Google has bought a site in the Belgian province of Hainaut with the aim of possibly building a new data centre there. The company announced this on Friday.
The 36-hectare site is located in Ecaussinnes, in the Feluy industrial zone near La Louvière. The aim of the purchase is to keep all options open to strengthen Google's presence in Belgium with a new data centre.
Google had its eye on Belgium before, when the company sought and found its first location outside the US a few years ago in Saint-Ghislain, also in the province of Hainaut. Last year, Google also announced the purchase of a site in Farciennes, near Charleroi, also for a possible future data centre. No decision has yet been made on the possible construction.
"Belgium is an essential part of Google's European infrastructure," the company says. Since 2007, nearly 3 billion euro has been invested in data centres in our country.
Google's data centres are facilities that store large volumes of powerful servers, as well as network equipment and communication links. These servers run Google products such as Search, Gmail or YouTube and support Google users across Europe and the rest of the world.
Prime minister Alexander De Croo welcomed the new investment. " For many years Belgium has been playing a pioneering role in Europe in the development of the digital economy. Our central location, knowledge and talent are assets for players like Google, but also for all the innovative start-ups that are founded in our country every day."
Moreover, what is happening in the world shows once again how crucial it is for Belgium and for Europe to have its own infrastructure and economic and technological levers, De Croo stressed.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK - Prime Minister Alexander De Croo delivers a speech at a visit to the Google company in Ghlin on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Google data centre in Belgium, .