Microsoft deals drive Swedish data centre market

Global technology giant Microsoft has acquired 120,000 m2 of industrial land in the Staffanstorp logistics centre near Malmö, Sweden.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The IT software specialist said it planned to build a data-centre on site that would meet 'sustainable and environmentally friendly standards', as well as 'supporting the continued growing demand for cloud and Internet services in the Nordic region and Europe'.

The terrain was purchased from Kilenkrysset, a privately-owned Swedish property and construction group which purchased the entire stock of the Staffanstorp logistics centre seventeen years ago.

'Since three years back, all buildings have been leased and we have a very high demand for the remaining industrial building rights,' said Jan Persson, chairman of the board at Kilenkrysset. 'Staffanstorp's good infrastructure and company-friendly and proactive municipal management have been crucial in offering Microsoft this opportunity.'

Data market growth
The deal marks Microsoft's third land investment in Sweden this year, all targeting the fast-growing data centre market.

In March, Microsoft acquired 130 ha of land in a direct deal with the municipalities of Gävle and Sandviken, about 100 miles north of Stockholm, to build further data facilities.

At the time, environmental groups protested that the centres would cause electricity shortages in nearby towns. Microsoft struck a deal in May with power utility Vattenfall to ensure that its Swedish data centres would be powered from renewable resources. Microsoft has pledged that 60% of all its data centres will run on green power by 2020, and 70% by 2023.

Across Europe, the IT giant is currently building data centres in Norway and Switzerland, to add to stock it has already constructed in Austria, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Holland, and the UK.

Government investment advisors said that direct investment from data centre companies would be worth €5 bn to Sweden by 2025. Facebook, Amazon and Google have also invested in key technology infrastructure across the country.

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