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Our first story today is regarding the data centre giant Winthrop. Blackstone, the renowned private equity firm based in New York has reportedly been in talks to acquire Winthrop Technologies for a whopping €816 million. The Irish market is no stranger to Blackstone, having previously acquired companies such as Eir and the former Burlington Hotel. Additionally, the private equity giant completed a massive $10 billion deal for QTS data centres just three years ago. The founder of Winthrop, Barry English, is currently the majority shareholder and advisor in the business.

Our next story is in Ireland. Reports state that the data centre developer Echelon is growing frustrated with the slow pace talks on connecting a planned project to the electricity grid. Echelon’s €500 million project DUB20 at the old Irish fertiliser industry site in Arklow will acquire 90MW of electricity in the first phase, rising to 204MW over several years. According to Echelon, the Arklow site’s own facility will be able to generate up to 293MW of electricity as it is close to where SSE Renewables plans to build an offshore wind farm capable of producing up to 800MW.

Over in the Nordics, Google has begun planning for the construction of its first Norwegian data centre and has set ambitious environmental targets. The €600 million facility is 130 kilometres south of Oslo, and is set to come into operation in 2026. The energy used by the data centre will be 99% carbon-free, and is targeted to hit net-zero emissions by 2030 for both the data centre itself and the on-site offices. Google's Norway manager, Tine Austvoll Jensen, stated, “This project will contribute to significant economic ripple effects in the region.” Also stating, “Now that we are starting construction, we are looking forward to a long term and very good partnership.”

In a statement made in the world government summit, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang predicted that the rise of AI technology will drive the construction of up to $1 trillion worth of data centres globally in the next four to five years. Currently there is about a $1 trillion worth of installed data centres, but this number is expected to double as the demand for the software that powers AI increases. This reinforces the importance that companies are placing on to invest in into mission critical infrastructure and engineering solutions.

Big news in Buckinghamshire – VIRTUS Data Centres has announced a new 75MW project. This project will consist of four data centre buildings and construction is targeted to begin in Q4 2024. VIRTUS CEO Neil Cresswell said, “The acquisition of this new 50-acre campus is a significant step in VIRTUS’s strategic growth plans. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to provide advanced data centre facilities in the UK while also expanding our operations in Europe.” VIRTUS currently operates 11 data centres across 4 campuses in Greater London, totaling 178MW of power.

Over in Spain, Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice Chair and President, announced a commitment to invest $2.1 billion into Spain's AI and cloud infrastructure over the next two years. Smith stated, “Our investment is beyond just building data centres. It's a testament to our 37-year commitment to Spain’s security and development and digital transformation of its government, businesses and people.”

More investment news as Chancellor Olaf Scholz has welcomed another announcement by Microsoft that it would invest almost €3.3 billion into Germany over the next two years to massively expand its data centre capacities. Microsoft President Brad Smith made the announcement in Berlin during the presidents with Scholz.

So, they were the top highlights from the European data centre market in February. If you enjoyed the video, please give it a like, share, comment or even better all three! If you have a mission critical project coming up, CMC provide engineering, construction and project management services to help you deliver your project ahead of schedule and under budget. For more information, visit, or reach out to myself directly on LinkedIn. Thank you for watching. I'm William and this has been the Data Centre Debrief. I hope to see you again next month.