5 Data Center Projects That Will Change Europe

Public Cloud Services (PCS) spending in Europe is set to reach $113 billion in 2022 and will double to $239 billion by 2026, growing at a 22% 5-year 2021-2026 CAGR.

The rapid adoption of cloud services as well as a growing penetration of connected devices is driving the data centre market to new records including both consolidation but also the emergence of new players. 

Some of these players are popping up with largescale projects that bring with them developments with capital expenditures worth billions of Dollars. 

More interestingly, these deployments are occurring in markets that have in the past not experienced data centre installations or have had very little investment. 

Below, JSA Europe media consultant João Marques Lima lists five projects which grabbed the continent’s attention be it for the scale or for their location.


Start Campus, Portugal

It was one of the flagship announcements of 2021. A $4.2 billion, 495MW data centre campus to be built south of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, a market whose value is currently estimated at less than $1 billion.

The development is backed by US institutional alternative investment management firm Davidson Kempner and British infrastructure investment group Pioneer Point Partners.

Once fully completed, the Sines 4.0 campus is expected to generate €1.4 billion p.a. in contributions to the Portuguese GDP, roughly 0.6% of today’s €233.4 billion.

The server farm is also estimated to generate up to 8,000 jobs in total, including 700 to 1200 direct jobs.

Construction started in April 2022 and will deliver in the first phase 15MW of capacity. The 5,000sqm facility represents an investment of €130 million (US$139 million) and will be 100% powered by local renewable energy and 100% cooled using sea water. Phase one is projected for completion e in Q1 of 2023.

Aruba, Italy

Italian hyperscale data centre operator Aruba said it intends to open the doors of Rome’s largest data centre development to date during the first quarter of 2023.

The project – dubbed IT4 – sits on a piece of land comprising 74,000 sqm or 796,500 sqft, and will see the phased construction of five data centre buildings, each with 6MW of IT capacity.

The 30MW campus – once fully built – will be located in the Tecnopolo Tiburtino technical centre, located to the East of the capital and outside Rome’s orbital motorway Grande Raccordo Anulare.

Aruba’s portfolio counts today with more than 100,000 sqm/1 million sqf of data centre space with a combined power capacity of 100MW.

The load is distributed across several sites including the company’s flagship location in Bergamo (in the outskirts of Milan), Arezzo (in central Italy), and Forpsi (in Cechia).

ClusterPower, Romania

Romanian cloud service provider ClusterPower unveiled plans to build what will be one of the largest data centres in Europe at full capacity also in 2021.

The hyperscale campus, located in Craiova, Romania’s 6th largest city, will have up to 4500 racks and 200MW capacity and be powered with natural gas.

Five buildings are planned to be built in the village of Mischii, on a ​​273,400 sqf plot of land owned by the company.

The first phase of the project opened in April 2022, marking a new era for the Romanian data centre industry.

DATA4, Poland

French data centre operator Data4 has broken ground on its first Polish data centre campus in an investment that surpasses the €250 million (US$282.4 million).

The park in the capital region of Warsaw will sit on over 4-hectares of land and count with 40MW of IT capacity with hosting floor space reaching 183,000 sq ft at full build.

The first phase of the project will see more than €100 million ($112.96 million) deployed with the full CAPEX expected to be delivered over the next 36 months.

News of the data centre park in Warsaw first broke in July 2021 with the capital commitment having increased €50 million ($56.48 million) since. The project is set to establish Poland as a prime destination for data centre operators which are looking at Tier 2 markets for expansion.

Data4 was established in 2006 by Colony Capital – now DigitalBridge – and it was subsequently acquired by AXA Investment Managers for an undisclosed amount in 2018.


First Timers

Although these projects are being built in relatively established and/or mature markets, there is a speeding trend of operators from other continents – especially North America – entering the European market for the first time.

Such is the case of US hosting firm Prime Data Centers which is to open a facility in Madridv in what will be the company’s first in Europe.

Elsewhere, Compass Datacenters and global real estate firm Hines have acquired land in the Milan metro area with the intention to build a largescale data centre campus.

The 2.3 million square foot Noviglio-located site in the northern Italy city aims to support 48MW+ of IT load with construction to begin in 2023.

The joint venture marks the entry of Compass Datacenters into the European market for the first time, and is anticipated to be the first data centre project to be delivered by Hines in Europe.

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