Apple cancels plans for $1 billion data center in Ireland after long delays
Three years is longer than Cupertino is willing to waitBy Greg Synek
As a result of delays in the approval process, Apple has decided to change its plans on building a new data center in Ireland. After more than three years of stalling and court cases, the decision has been made to cancel the project.
Apple originally announced plans to spend $1 billion on a new facility in the west Irish town of Athenry because of its close proximity to renewable energy sources. Two individuals were not pleased with Apple's choice of location and decided to take the matter to Ireland's High Court which dismissed the case.
Following the dismissal by the High Court, an appeal was made with the Supreme Court. Before the Supreme Court hearing on Thursday, Apple stated that "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."
Although the change of plans certainly comes as a disappointment for many that stood to benefit from the expansion, Apple is still open to further construction in Ireland. Despite being subject to back taxes, business relations are still believed to be amiable.
Ireland relies on multinational businesses such as Apple to provide nearly 10 percent of all jobs in the country. There are currently more than 6,000 employees working at Apple's European headquarters. The new data center would have provided approximately 300 jobs during the construction process and around 150 technical jobs once fully operational.
Due to the loss of investment, Irish officials are currently seeking to amend existing planning laws so that data centers are classified as strategic infrastructure. This would allow future technology investments to pass through approval processes much more quickly and not be subject to legal disputes that could hamper future projects.