Apple cancels $1 bn data center in Ireland because of delays

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Apple has cancelled its plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland because of delays in the approval process, Reuters reported.

The iPhone maker announced plans in February 2015 to build the facility in the rural western town of Athenry to benefit from green energy sources. Apple said planning appeals, chiefly from two individuals, delayed its approval.

Ireland’s High Court ruled in October that the data center could proceed, dismissing the appellants who then took their case to the country’s Supreme Court.

“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 ahead of the Supreme Court heading on Thursday.

Apple, the leading smartphone maker,  will be expanding its European headquarters in County Cork where it employs over 6,000 people, despite challenging situation.

Ireland relies on foreign multinational companies like Apple for the creation of one in every 10 jobs across the economy and sees major investments such as data centers as a means of securing their presence in the country.

The government is in the process of amending its planning laws to include data centers as strategic infrastructure, thus allowing them to get through the planning process much more quickly.

Apple’s similar center announced at the same time in Denmark was due to begin operations last year. Apple announced in July that it would build its second EU data center there.