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Limerick Data Center Facing Fierce Opposition from Public

Feb 8, 2019
by Josh Anderson

LIMERICK, IRELAND — A floating €35 Million data center proposed for the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick, Ireland that would employ up to 124 workers is facing a wealth of opposition from local business. According to The Limerick Leader, who broke the story, a total of 17 parties have submitted a response to the planning application submitted by the joint developers, the Shannon Foynes Port Company and Nautilis, out of California, to the Limerick City and County Council. The municipal body is now seeking further input and clarification from the complainants.

The Limerick Port Users group represents 16 of the individual parties in opposition to the plan – including Greenstar, Irish Cement, Shannonside Timber Products, & United Metals, among others. Chairman Liam Woulfe, himself from the firm Grassland Agro, wrote that the group believes the data center will “severely and irrevocably compromise the ability of the port to meet the existing needs of its users.” Furthermore, “The Limerick Port users have conducted a study which outlines the proposed development will reduce the capacity of the dock by 23% severely hindering its ability to handle current tonnage levels and hinder future development.”

One of the largest issues the group highlights is that this data center would not be the first port user to significantly disrupt operations in the business eco-system. “Limerick port users having a wealth of marine knowledge would like to draw attention to the naivety of the promoter of the proposed development who despite having been in existence since 2013, and after a number of failed attempts have yet to construct an operational floating data centre,” highlighted the Limerick Leader.

However, the community is not uniformly opposed to the development. Both the Limerick Chamber of Commerce and the organization Action Plan for Jobs have released strong statements of support, urging the council to approve the Shannon Foynes Port Company and Nautilis’ application, writing “New innovations have catalytic impacts on regional economies. The proposed floating commercial data storage vessel at Limerick Docklands would be such a catalyst for the city-region and in this regard, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of this application.”

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