The Anglo-American company Start Campus will invest up to €3.5 billion in a global data centre in Sines - which has high geostrategic importance - that will create up to 1200 highly qualified direct jobs and 8000 indirect jobs by 2025. This project is undoubtedly the largest foreign investment that the country has attracted since Autoeuropa, with no other fiscal or financial incentives.
The investment Start Campus made - a company owned by the North American from Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP (Davidson Kempner) and the British from Pioneer Point Partners - has been classified as a National Interest Project.
Sines 4.0 is hence aiming to become one of Europe’s largest data centre - Hyperscaler Data Centre - and also to respond to the growing demand for data processing and storage, and business applications from major international technology companies who provide streaming services, social media, eCommerce, gaming, online education, video conferencing amongst others.
According to the promoters, the new data mega-centre will be the next generation’s central infrastructure, combining the needs of the new information age and the digital transition with the unique geographical position of Sines, and also contributing significantly to Portugal’s energy transition. The ultimate goal is for Sines 4.0 to have “a zero net carbon footprint, ensuring globally competitive energy prices, security, stability and data security compliance”.
The project foresees the construction of five buildings with a useful capacity to supply 450 Megawatts (MW) of energy to the servers, with 90 MW each, and will be located on the land adjacent to the recently closed coal-fired power plant in Sines. The project will thus benefit from all the strategic advantages of this location, such as cooling with seawater, access to the high voltage electrical network, connectivity through the connection of high-capacity international fibre-optic cables with North America, Africa, and South America, and potential use of 100% green and environmentally sustainable energy, with water consumption indicators and creating highly efficient PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness).
What’s more, the project also leverages the strategic geographical importance of Sines and Portugal at the edge of Europe through the new submarine cables now starting to operate, namely EllaLink (connecting Portugal to Madeira and South America), Equiano and 2Africa (linking the African continent to Europe through Portugal).
Thus, Portugal can once again become the main data hub between Europe, America, Africa amongst other countries, and become the gateway to the multiplication of transatlantic connectivity.
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