$400 Million Data Center Planned in Wales

Next Generation Data Ltd. (NGD) is investing almost $400 million to convert a former semiconductor plant in Newport, Wales into one of the largest data centers in Europe. The facility, to be called NGD Europe 1, has 400,000 square feet of space that can be divided into 15 separate centers for individual clients.

“Five major telecommunications carriers are providing interconnections to the center, and an electricity sub station nearby will provide redundant power,” said Simon Taylor, chairman of Next Generation Data. International Business Wales (IBW), the economic development and trade promotional arm of the Welsh government, will market the center to American companies planning to relocate to the UK or Europe or already operating there.

Geraint Jones, head of IBW North America, said the facility would be ideal for financial and other businesses that want to move some operations out of crowded London or as a secure backup for operations elsewhere in the UK or Europe. The facility was previously used as an LG semiconductor plant, but has been empty since it was completed in 1998. The development was intended to be the largest foreign investment in Wales, creating more than 6,000 jobs when it was announced by the Korean company in 1996.

“The new center will be of special interest to our growing financial services sector, offering business continuity and providing smaller businesses cost effective access to high quality, robust and secure data-center services,” Jones said.

“This is the largest facility of its type in the UK and will have the latest in communications, security and other equipment,” Taylor said. “We are negotiating with some of the largest corporations in Europe to be anchor tenants. They will put in their own equipment and manage their own services, if they wish.”

Nick Razey, Chief Executive, Next Generation Data, said, “With power consumption expected to double over the next four years, providing electricity to data centers in much of the UK will become increasingly difficult. By locating close to a sub-station, together with energy-efficient technologies, we can offer clients enough power for the foreseeable future.”

Taylor said the first tenants should be able to move in later this year.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.