Facebook has applied to build a new data centre in Ireland to expand the company's footprint in Europe and further establish Ireland as its European headquarters.
An industrial area of Clonee, County Meath has been put forward by Facebook to the Irish authorities as the proposed location.
County Meath is just north of Facebook's headquarters in Dublin, and has been selected for its connectivity, renewable energy and access to a large pool of talent.
Facebook's first European data centre is in Luleå in Sweden, and a second will build the firm's presence in Europe and provide more scope to work with the varied data regulations in the region.
Building the data centre in County Meath will also bring hundreds of new jobs to the area.
Richard Bruton, Ireland's minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, welcomed the plan and the impact it will have on economic activity and employment in County Meath.
"Data centres is an area which we have specifically targeted as part of our Action Plan for Jobs," he said.
"It is particularly well suited to our climate and infrastructure, and holds the capacity to bring much-needed jobs and investment to areas where jobs may not be growing as quickly as elsewhere.
The data centre will also build on Facebook's presence in Ireland, where it already has its European headquarters.
Facebook recently invested in expanding its Dublin base into a larger building in the city's Grand Canal Docks which currently houses 900 employees.
Rachel Peterson, director of data centre strategy and development at Facebook, said the new data centre plans are evidence of Facebook's commitment to investing in Ireland.
"We hope to build an innovative, environmentally friendly data centre that will help us continue to connect people in Ireland and around the world, while supporting local job creation and Ireland's successful technology economy," she said.
Facebook may have an interest in expanding its presence in Europe, but the firm will have to be careful in how it deals with data and privacy legislation across the continent, particularly given that it faces a court showdown with the Belgian Privacy Commission.
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