Apple scraps plan for data center in Ireland

Apple has decided to scratch its plans to develop a $1 billion data center in Ireland due to delays in the approval process that have stalled the project for years.

While the Irish government wanted the project to go forward in the town of Athenry, it was hit with numerous setbacks due to disputes with local groups stemming from environmental concerns.

“Several years ago we applied to build a data center at Athenry. Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data center,” Apple said in a statement to the Independent.

The center would have created 50 permanent jobs and 300 construction jobs.

Commenting on the decision, Ireland’s Minister for Business and Enterprise Heather Humphreys said in a statement, “The Government did everything it could to support this investment... These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the State’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”

In December, Apple reached an agreement with the European Union to begin paying Ireland the $15.4 billion in back taxes it was ordered to pay in the prior year, following a crackdown on tax shelter policies.

Ireland uses low tax rates to spur foreign investment. Stateside, the U.S. signed a sweeping tax reform package into law last year, which dramatically reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.