Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Meta Halts Plans for Large Dutch Data Center on Rising Opposition

Tue 29 Mar 2022 | 07:07 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

Meta Platforms Inc. has put on hold plans to develop a big data centre in the Netherlands, citing increased political opposition, according to Bloomberg.

The parent company of Facebook stated it has been requested to evaluate a data centre investment in the Netherlands' Zeewolde region by the local, regional, and national governments in 2019. A zoning plan for the so-called hyperscale data centre had already been accepted by the previous local council, but the Dutch Senate voted last week to examine the scheme.

Meta has encountered criticism on a local level, after the anti-investment party Leefbaar Zeewolde recently won a majority of seats in the municipality after running an election campaign against it. Environmental concerns and whether the data center's development would conflict with the country's national aim for sustainability are among the objections to the project.

"We strongly believe in being good neighbours," a Meta spokesperson said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. "From the beginning of this journey, we stressed that a good fit between our project and the community is foremost among the criteria we consider when initiating and continuing our development processes." "We have decided to stop our development operations in Zeewolde due to the existing conditions."

As it chooses next actions, it said it will continue to work closely with the municipality.

The Dutch government put a nine-month moratorium on permits for data centres larger than ten hectares in February. Hugo De Jonge, the Dutch Minister for Housing and Spatial Planning, expressed worry about a lack of space in the Netherlands and the "disproportionate amount" of renewable energy consumed by hyperscale data centres.