Meta has announced that it will no longer pursue its $342 million Denmark datacenter expansion contract.

The company acquired the contract to build and manage an additional $342 million (roughly €320 million) worth of datacenter infrastructure in the region. In a recent statement, Meta said it has decided “not to move forward with the planned expansion beyond three buildings”.

Datacenter expansions on hold

The company will continue to explore potential opportunities for expansion in the region, although at a more conservative level. The decision is expected to have an impact on the local economy as construction firms and suppliers of materials were prepared to take on new contracts due to Meta’s planned expansion. 

“Supporting AI workloads at scale requires a different type of datacenter than those built to support our regular online services”, Meta’s Nordics comms manager Peter Münster told DatacenterDynamics. “This is why we are focusing our efforts on building a new generation of datacenters.”

Meta is not the only company to put its datacenter expansion plans on hold this year. As businesses around the world move to adjust their operations due to the pandemic, many have been forced to cut back on capital expenditures and prioritize projects that can generate immediate returns.

New approaches

Meta’s decision comes as datacenters are increasingly facing pressure from regulators and environmental groups concerned with energy usage and emissions. In addition, rising energy prices call for new approaches.

“Higher densities require a shift in the way in which we design, build, and cool datacenters”, said Danish Data Center Industry CEO Henrik Hansen, according to DatacenterDynamics.

“In recent years, we have seen liquid cooling gaining traction in the industry, to combat the increasing energy demands. This industry has always been hyper-aware of energy consumption, and this shift does not come as a surprise to us, as demand for AI and other energy-intense applications continue to be rolled out.”

Tip: ‘HCI reduces datacenter energy consumption by up to 40 percent’