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Facebook set to invest in Swedish north: report

Facebook set to invest in Swedish north: report

Published: 16 May 2011 15:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 May 2011 15:11 GMT+02:00

Facebook, the world's largest social network company, is planning to invest in a giant server park in Luleå in northern Sweden, local media reports.

According to newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten, the server park under construction outside of Luleå, in the north of Sweden, has been commissioned by Facebook.

“We are now in a very sensitive stage in our negotiations with a possible investor, so I can’t confirm anything,“ Matz Engman of Aurorum Science Park told The Local.

Three giant server halls are being built between the Aurorum Science Park and Gammelstadsviken Nature Reserve, just outside of Luleå.

The three halls will take up 30,000 square metres each and are estimated to use up as much electricity as 16.000 detached houses.

“I make it about 473 million kronor ($74.5 million). It is not an electrical bill I would like to receive,“ said Inge Johansson of the county administrative board's environmental branch.

Despite the undertaking being an investment amounting to billions of kronor only 70-90 full time staff will be needed to man the halls.

But no one is willing to disclose if it is Facebook that is behind the building.

“I know which company it is, but they have to be allowed to announce the news when they are ready so I will reveal nothing,” local politician Karl Petersen told the local papers in April.

When The Local contacted Luleå county council, they were unwilling to discuss the matter, as was Luleå Näringsliv AB, the company behind the science park. Instead they referred the matter to Matz Engman of the Aurorum Science Park.

And according to Engman, they have been actively seeking interested parties to the area for over three years.

“We have the right prerequisites for a server centre or some other high energy facility,“ Matz Engman told The Local.

However, he was not able to confirm who is behind the high profile construction project.

“Recently there has been a massive amount of speculation. But I can’t say anything right now,” he said.

However, the race is on to get all the approvals needed before the county council meeting at the end of May.

The plans for the build are currently being reviewed by the council, which is looking into the environmental aspects with regards to noise pollution, demands on the electrical grid and pollution of the water or nearby area.

“So far we have turned the halls around from how they were originally positioned on the plans,“ said Johansson to the Norrländska Socialdemokraten.

But according to Johansson there is no reason why the plans wouldn’t be approved at the county council meeting at the end of May.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:45 May 16, 2011 by swedejane
So the top-notch reporters at The Local are unable to confirm this report and they print it any with this very definitive sounding headline. #fail
16:00 May 16, 2011 by stenhuggaren
i think it works fine with the :report. And the headline is significantly less definitive than the other Swedish media sources. It is as good as a done deal, and this was a judgement call I presume.
16:29 May 16, 2011 by virgoman
What a trash!!! so no one in the site and offices declare the area is for FACEBOOK. So how and why is The Local decieving readers?
17:21 May 16, 2011 by philster61
I would like to remind FB about the pirate bay....And of course Julian Assange See what happens when you establish a server locale in Sweden. The Government will immediately send out their spies and look for a case against you.....
17:58 May 16, 2011 by cookiemaster
Facebook = CIA(just type in google "Obama = Stalin = Bush or USA = Soviet Union")...
14:56 May 17, 2011 by NickJT
Computer Sweden reported on the fact that several large IT companies have been looking favourably at setting up some of their global server parks in this country as it ticked all the boxes regarding stability of country, climate, natural disaster free, IT literate....... The only thing I heard they were concerned about was the price they would need to pay for electricity with the likes of Fortum, Eon and our own Vattenfall dominating the market and taking our absorbitant charges for businesses. If that nut can be cracked then potentially this country could see more than one IT company setting up these farms and giving jobs to many of our citizens. That can't be a bad thing can it?
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