Facebook set to invest in Swedish north: report

Facebook set to invest in Swedish north: report
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.

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