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Google buys plot of land in NL, but will there be a data centre?

15 Jun 18

Alphabet Inc.’s Google’s has made further investment into Europe.

The global giant already has a large facility in the Netherlands (within the northeastern town of Eemshaven) but this week announced the purchase of 70 hectares of land in Noord-Holland for an undisclosed amount.

Earlier this year Google revealed it would be investing a whopping 500 million Euros to expand its existing data centre in the Netherlands after already spending 600 million Euros to construct it.

In terms of the new plot of land, Google has indicated that it is still on the fence about whether to build on the site but that it wants to keep its options open and a decision will be made soon.

"We want to ensure that we have options to continue to expand our data center presence in Europe if our business demands it," Google spokesman Mark Jansen said Thursday.

There is no doubt that data centre real estate in the Netherlands is highly sought after, with many tech companies including Microsoft already establishing data centres in the area. According to the Netherland’s foreign investment agency, drawcards include the country’s central location and relatively cheap supply of sustainable energy.

Interestingly though, in May this year the Dutch Data Centre Association released a report that asserted the country had a shortage of electricity in areas where data centres are concentrated, particularly dire in and around Amsterdam.

However, the Dutch minister of economic affairs rubbished these claims and asserted there is no issue of power shortage.

The cloud race is well and truly under way with tech companies battling to establish more and more data centres as both businesses and consumers store a greater quantity of data online – as well as demanding rapid access to it.

Google is currently just behind Amazon.com and Microsoft when it comes to cloud services, but is working to rectify its position after announcing that the bulk of the US$7.7 billion in capital expenditures last quarter was allocated toward infrastructure to extend its cloud and artificial intelligence efforts.

Europe certainly seems to be an area of interest for the search giant after recently purchasing plots of land in Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg and earlier this announcing further investment into its Belgian site.

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