Staffanstorp mayor Christian Sonesson said it was the biggest new business venture in the municipality's history. Photo: Michel Euler/AP/TT
According to the municipality, the US company has already begun preparing the ground ahead of the start of construction.
“It is hard to overestimate the significance of Microsoft's huge investment in Staffanstorp,” the town's mayor, Christian Sonesson, said in a statement. “Microsoft will both become one of the municipality's biggest employers and will also contribute to local society through providing funds to the municipality and our local society.”
In a press release issued on Friday, Microsoft said that Staffanstorp would be one of three data centre locations in Sweden, alongside facilities in Gävle and Sandviken.
“The three locations will support the continued growth of our cloud and internet services in Europe and the Nordic countries,” it said in the release, stressing that the three centres would be “world class” and meet “standards for sustainability and environmental friendliness”.
“Microsoft has been working with local and regional energy providers to assure that Microsoft’s power needs are well planned with minimal impact to the community,” the company added in written communication with The Local.
Staffanstorp municipality said Microsoft had selected it over rivals on the basis of more than 35 criteria, including access to qualified labour and reliability of power supplies.
Sonesson said that although the details of the projects Microsoft would fund in the municipality had still not been ironed out, negotiations had so far touched on schools and education, environmental projects, supporting local businesses, and investments in culture and history.
Tomas Sokolnicki, an investment advisor with Business Sweden, told the TT newswire that the project had been ongoing for more than a year.
“From an investment perspective, it's extremely exciting that we meet the conditions for these sorts of ventures in southern Sweden as well,” he explained.
Since forming a coalition with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats after last September's general election, Sonesson has brought Staffanstorp national notoriety by pushing through a series of populist, anti-immigration policies.