Facebook announces expansion of new Meath data centre before construction even begins

The data centre will sit on a site of around 220 acres

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Artists's impression of Clonee data centre, via Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook

Facebook have announced that they are expanding their data centre in Co Meath before it is even built.

The social networking site have turned the sod on the complex outside Clonee - which will see another building added to what the company previously announced.

When completed, it will be the size of eight Aviva Stadiums.

It will be the company's second European Data Centre - after Luleå in Sweden - and will sit on a site of around 220 acres - meaning that there is room for expansion.

2,000 construction jobs will be created and it is expected around 150 longer-term jobs will be announced once the centre is operational.

The data centre is expected to begin operating by the start of 2018 at the latest, and will be powered by renewable energy.

Tom Furlong is vice-president of Infrastructure at Facebook.

Brian Fitzgerald, chairman of Meath County Council, says he hopes the company will have a long and happy relationship with Meath and its people.

He says the Council hopes "in the long-term it could become a major campus", adding he visited the company's headquarters "and to say I was impressed would be an understatement".