Google is expanding its data center network in Europe as well as the U.S. The Internet search giant will build a data center near Mons, Belgium, investing 250 million Euros (about $341 million) in a project that will create 120 local permanent jobs, as well as 300 temporary construction jobs,according to reports in the Belgian press (if you read French, check out coverage in L'Echo). Construction starts today, and the facility is scheduled to open in early 2008. The data center will be in the Ghlin-Baudour industrial park in Hainaut, an area some reports describe as a former coal mining region. The new facility will be located near a canal to provide abundant water for cooling.
In February reports emerged that Google may be a tenant in a massive new data center near Amsterdam, which is one of the most wired cities in Europe. Google already has at least one facility already in the Groningen area. Internet growth in Europe is driving strong demand for data center space, as seen in strong leasing rates for data center space. Belgium is an interesting choice for Google, as the company was involved in litigation with the Belgian newspaper association about Google news.