(Reuters) - Apple Inc said it would spend 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to build two data centers in Europe that would be entirely powered by renewable energy and create hundreds of jobs.
The company said the centers, in Ireland and Denmark, will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.
The investment is set to be evenly divided between the two countries, with the Irish government confirming that 850 million euros would be spent in Ireland. The two data centers are expected to begin operations in 2017.
“This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet,” he added.
The data center in Ireland will be located in Athenry, close to Galway on the west coast while in Denmark, it will be in Viborg, western Denmark.
In a sign of how important Apple’s investment in Denmark was, the country’s trade and development minister issued a statement mirroring that of the iPhone maker’s, adding the two data centers would be among the largest in the world.
Ireland’s government also reacted to the announcement, saying 300 jobs would be added in the county of Galway during the multiple phases of the project, a boost as it seeks to cut the unemployment rate below 10 percent this year.
“As the Government works to secure recovery and see it spread to every part of the country, today’s announcement is another extremely positive step in the right direction,” Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said in a statement.
Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru, Sabina Zawadzki in Copenhagen and Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by Ted Kerr and Keith Weir