Bergmann Attorneys at Law reaffirm that Finland offers far more than just snow and Santa
Whenever you mention Finland to anyone, often their mind is immediately filled by enchanting images that are synonymous with the country; a cold, snow laden wilderness, far from the beaten track, where time appears to stand still. However, any business leader who has an avid interested in establishing a secure and cost effective Data Centre somewhere in Europe, should see these basic delights as an advantage. The cold climate increases data centre efficiency, it provides an effective cooling mechanism for high speed data links, such as the Cinia submarine data cable that now exists between Finland and Germany, and, furthermore, it furnishes the data centre with a potential source of waste heat disposal; as local, district heating. In-depth investigation into Finland’s suitability as a data centre host will reveal the diverse array of opportunities, favourable services and excellent facilities that are available throughout the country. This is a point of view which is actively endorsed and promoted by Peter Jaspers, Head of Practice, Technology & Infrastructure at Bergmann Attorneys at Law.
In a number of articles that have been published over the last year, Peter has identified that Finland has become one of the most attractive investment targets for large and medium size data centres principally because Finland is promoting Finland as the new Global Data Hub. Assisted by a supportive government, which introduced lower energy tax rates for data centres exceeding 5 MW in April 2014, Peter goes on to state that approximately 2,800 data centres have already been established in Finland; including those of Google in Hamina, which began operation in 2012, and the Russian internet company, Yandex’s, 10 MW facility in Mäntsälä, which came on stream in 2013. In June of this year, citing Finland’s comparatively low electricity prices as one of the determining factors in their decision (56.05€ per MWh in 2014 compared with 73.96€ and 151.00€ in Sweden and Germany respectively), Hetzner Online GmbH, a German based provider of data centre services, commenced site clearance work for their new 150,000 square meter data centre park in Tuusula, 20km north of Helsinki. According to Hetzner, the site should commence operations in Autumn 2017.
In Bergmann’s booklet, “Data Center Investments in Finland”, Peter Jaspers highlights the fact that that tax incentives instigated by a supportive government alone should not be considered as the sole reason for selecting Finland as a data centre location:
“Modern data centers require abundant, reliable energy supply; strong internet connectivity; favorable (climate and geological) conditions; and a supportive political and regulatory environment. Finland has all of these making it an ideal location for data centers.”
This is a sentiment which has been corroborated by Hetzner through their own decision making process. In addition to the factors already listed, they have indicated that a Nordic location (allowing them to utilise their direct free cooling concept), good fibre connection with low latency and being part of the European Union (in regards to data security), with close proximity to the fast growing IT markets in Eastern Europe and Russia, were equally important.
Invest in Finland, a government agency that promotes foreign investment in Finland, has identified a further 50 green-field and brown-field sites, covering more than 14 million square meters, with more than 6.7 million square meters of build¬ing rights and a total power capacity that exceeds 3,500 MW as being suitable for data centre location. They have stated that, according to Gartner (2014), when taking into consideration energy savings alone “a 1 MW load and PUE of 1.3 would be EUR 2.3 million over a 3-year period, 3.8 million over a 5-year period and 7.7 million over a 10-year period.” Savings for 5 MW and 10 MW data centres would be significantly higher due to the alleviation of energy tax at this level. However, Peter Jaspers is quick to point out that:
“Before selecting the site for your data center, it is prudent to subject the candidate sites to thorough scrutiny (due diligence). Here, technical and legal aspects go hand in hand. The list of items to be checked will depend on the nature of the project.”
And, thankfully, this is where Peter Jaspers and Bergmann Attorneys at Law can provide a helping and guiding hand. Bergmann is a Helsinki-based boutique law firm that is an established expert for legal advice in industrial projects. Their typical clients are investors or solution providers involved in industrial plant construction, energy-related projects and technological infrastructure. They will be exhibiting at the Nordic Digital Business Summit which takes place at the Kaapelitehdas in Helsinki on September 22nd, 2016 and Peter will be on hand to discuss your proposals.