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Friday, May 11, 2018

Apple cancels the construction of a new data center

Por DamianToo

The technological giant Apple announced last Thursday that it is abandoning its plans to build a new data center in Ireland, a project valued at more than 850 million euros. The US company explained in a statement that the "delays" suffered in the "permitting process" have forced it to seek other destinations and, consequently, concluded, "we can´t move forward" with the data center.

Apple planned to build an installation of about 166,000 square meters in the town of Athenry, in the county of Galway (west of Ireland), where it was going to recover a land that was used to grow non-native trees and also reforest a nearby forest.

The new data center would also have been powered exclusively by renewable energies, but environmental objections raised by local groups before the courts have precipitated the cancellation of the project. Although the High Court of Dublin ruled in favor of Apple last November, the activists appealed that decision, which was now in the hands of the Irish Supreme Court.

"It's disappointing, but this setback will not diminish our enthusiasm to develop future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow", said in a note the multinational, which operates in this country since 1980. Apple recalled that in the last two years has "spent more than 550 million euros with local companies", while "our investment and support for innovation" contributes to the "maintenance of more 25,000 jobs" on the island.

"We are totally committed to our employees and customers in Ireland and are expanding our operations in Cork (south), with new facilities for our talented team there", Apple added. The Irish Minister of Business, Business and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, said on Thursday that she "regrets" this decision, especially since this project "would have been an important source of investment and job creation" for the west of the country. "Despite the bad news, I am pleased that Apple has reaffirmed its commitment to its ongoing operations," said Humphreys.

Apple has another fiscal front open in Ireland after the European Commission (EC) ordered it in 2016 to return 13 billion euros that were saved by the illegal tax benefits granted by the Government of Dublin. The Irish Executive rejected these conclusions and the EC was forced to submit a judicial complaint against Dublin in October 2017 for not recovering the aforementioned 13,000 million euros. While the case is being processed in the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Irish Ministry of Finance has established an independent trust fund for Apple to deposit that amount.