Back in 2015, Apple announced plans to build a new data center in Athenry, Ireland. The small town was an attractive destination for Apple because of West Ireland’s green energy resources, and the company planned to invest as much as $1 billion in its construction. It’s been a while since we last heard about this data center, but more news about the project is surfacing today and it isn’t good.
According to Reuters, Apple has decided to can the project altogether. Development on the data center has been delayed by a number of planning appeals, with Ireland’s High Court finally awarding Apple the right to proceed with its plans back in October. When you consider that Apple has intended to build the data center since 2015, those appeals resulted in a long delay that forced the company to consider other options.
“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 to Reuters. It seems that Apple will look to build its new data center elsewhere, but the company’s next international move is unclear at this point.
Still, Apple is looking at other projects in Ireland. It says it plans to expand its European headquarters, which is located in County Cork, so it isn’t as if Apple is leaving Ireland altogether. It sounds like Ireland’s government is looking into making its planning approval process more streamlined in the future, so that other companies looking to build infrastructure in the country don’t face as many roadblocks as Apple did.
We’ll see if Apple decides to put up another data center elsewhere in Europe in the coming months and years. It already has one in the works in Denmark, which would have been the second data center in Europe after this one in Ireland. Maybe Apple will even decide to construct one in Ireland after these planning laws have had some changes? Time will tell, but for now, the project’s future is essentially non-existent.