Apple ditched plans to build a $1 billion data center in Ireland because of delays in the confirmation procedure that have stalled the project for more than three years, the iPhone maker said Thursday.
Apple announced plans in February 2015 to build the facility in the rural western town of Athenry to take advantage of green energy sources nearby, but a series of planning appeals, chiefly from two individuals, delayed its confirmations.
Ireland’s High Court ruled in October that the data center could proceed, dismissing the appellants, who then took their case to the country’s Supreme Court.
“Despite our best efforts, delays in the confirmation procedure have forced us to make other plans and we will not be capable to move forward with the data centre,” Apple said in a statement ahead of the Supreme Court hearing Thursday.
“While disappointing, this setback will not dampen our enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland as our business continues to grow,” the company said, citing plans to expand its European headquarters in County Cork, where it employs over 6,000 people.
Ireland relies on foreign multinational companies like Apple for the creation of one in every 10 jobs across the economy and sees major investments such as data centers as a means of securing their presence in the country.
The government is in the procedureof amending its planning laws to include data centers as strategic infrastructure, thus allowing them to get through the planning procedure much more rapidly.