A planned $1 billion Apple data centre is in doubt after Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister, said that Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive, would no longer commit to it, adding that Dublin would do whatever is necessary to get it built.
In February 2015, Apple revealed plans to build the facility in a rural location that is located in the west of Ireland to take advantage of the green energy sources that are nearby. However, the project has experienced a two-year delay because of planning objections.
Varadkar informed RTE, a state broadcaster, that during the meeting on Thursday, Cook did not commit to going ahead with the plan.
“We didn’t get a start date, or a definite commitment or anything like that,” stated Varadkar, who is on a tour of the United States to meet with investors. He added that he had informed Cook that the government is willing to do “anything within our power” in order to facilitate the resumption of the said project.
Ireland depends on foreign multinational companies such as Apple for the generation of one in every ten jobs across the economy and considers major investments such as data centres as a means of securing their presence in the country.
A similar Apple centre that was announced at the same time in Denmark is set to start operations later in 2017, and in July, Apple announced that it would build its second European Union data centre there.
The government has said that it is considering revising its planning laws to include data centres as a strategic infrastructure, thus enabling them to get through the process of planning much more quickly.