American tech giant Google has purchased a 53-hectare plot of land on the banks of the Sambre to be the site for its sixth Belgian data centre.
Google had its eye on the site in 2019, but the purchase came to a standstill after leaks in the press, according to De Tijd, which reports that the sale has been now completed, although Google has yet to confirm this officially.
The land is part of the Ecopôle business park in Farciennes, east of Charleroi. Google could draw water from the Sambre to cool the data centre and will have a direct connection to the electricity grid.
Elia, the company that manages that grid, confirmed to De Tijd that 200 to 300 MW capacity is available. Part of the land could be used for solar panels.
Google arrived in Belgium back in 2005 with plans for a data centre in the Hainaut town of Saint-Ghislain. Sixteen years later, the 90-hectare site there houses four data centres and a fifth is on the way.
The construction of the sixth data centre is expected to cost around €600 million. Google has already invested €2.6 to €2.8 billion in its Belgian data centres, and the Saint-Ghislain site employs 350 people.
Indirectly, Google employs about 1,000 people in Belgium.