Firm gets permission to buy land for planned data centre

An artist’s impression of the proposed data centre outside Invercargill. IMAGE: DATAGRID NZ
An artist’s impression of the proposed data centre outside Invercargill. IMAGE: DATAGRID NZ
The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has approved the purchase of the land for New Zealand’s first carbon-neutral data centre near Invercargill.

Yesterday, the OIO released its decision on the purchase of the 42ha block near Makarewa, but it withheld the price.

Last month, data company Datagrid New Zealand announced its plans for the centre in Southland, which it estimated would create up to 700 jobs during construction and at least 25 direct jobs once completed.

The Companies Office website lists Datagrid’s sole shareholder as a Singapore-based company.

Datagrid chief executive Remi Galasso estimated the project would cost up to $2billion.

He hoped construction would start by the end of next year.

Datagrid had chosen Southland because its colder temperatures would likely mitigate electricity consumption.

In the decision, the OIO said the investment was likely to increase competition in New Zealand’s data centre market.

The project would also lead to greater efficiency for Datagrid’s clients due to its scale.

The OIO was satisfied regulations requiring farmland to be offered on the open market had been complied with.

It was also satisfied that its benefit to New Zealand test and the investor test had been met.

The project is still subject to resource and building consents.

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