Back in 2015, Apple had announced that it would be opening a data center in Ireland by investing almost 850 million euro. However, more than three years later, construction work on the data center is yet to begin due to opposition from locals due to environmental issues. Frustrated with the delays, Apple has now ditched its plan of opening a data center in Ireland.
The data center was to be built in Athenry that would have allowed Apple to take advantage of the greenery nearby to generate renewable energy. However, locals and environmentalists kept opposing this decision despite the Ireland High Court ruling in October that Apple could proceed with the data center. However, the residents then moved to the Supreme Court appealing against the decision.
“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 centre,” Apple said in a statement ahead of the Supreme Court heading on Thursday.
Apple will continue to consider Ireland for its future projects primarily for the tax advantages it offers. The Cupertino company will now expand its European headquarters in Country Cork where it currently employs over 6,000 people. Apple still has not confirmed where it would be opening its new data center to make up for this loss. The Ireland data center was to be used for iCloud and App Store services.
Due to this setback, the Ireland government is looking to amend its planning laws to include data centers as strategic infrastructure which would greatly speed up the planning process.