Google builds new data centre in Belgium
Google has announced plans to invest €250 million in a new data centre in the Wallonia region of Belgium which borders Luxembourg.
The new building will be the third on the site near Mons, around 200 kilometres from Luxembourg, and is expected to be operational by mid-2019.
The internet giant also unveiled a new solar plant at the site – the first solar facility that Google has built on a data centre site.
The €250 million investment will bring Google's total investment in Belgium to €1 billion.
Last month Luxembourg's prime minister Xavier Bettel confirmed Google had bought 33.7 hectares of land in Bissen in the Grand Duchy.
It came just a month after Google announced it had put an option on the acquisition of 16 plots of land in Luxembourg "to expand its presence in data centres in Europe".
In a response to a parliamentary question in January Bettel confirmed the land had changed ownership and that it is the "current purchaser, Google, that now holds the deeds".
The Luxembourg government had been courting the US-based technology giant to establish a data centre in the Grand Duchy since Autumn last year.
Google's announcement this week states demand for Google services "grows every day, and the steady expansion of our network across Europe reflects this".
Around 350 people are employed at the Saint-Ghislain site near Mons and the company said the new building will create additional construction jobs.
Belgian prime minister Charles Michel welcomed the announcement of the new investment, saying it was excellent news for the Wallonia region – which borders Luxembourg – and Belgium in terms of job creation.
The new solar plant, which is already in use, represents a previous investment of €3 million and photovoltaic installations will feature 10,665 solar panels, generating 2.9 Gigawatt hour of "clean, reliable, renewable energy every year", according to Google.