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High energy excise duties: Estonia misses out on €1bn Apple investment

Instead of Estonia, it's Denmark and Ireland for Apple's new data centers.
Instead of Estonia, it's Denmark and Ireland for Apple's new data centers. Source: (Reuters/Scanpix)

Three years ago Apple announced a plan to build a server park in the Estonian town of Paldiski. The project, said to cost up to a billion euros, was never realized because of the local energy prices being too high, mainly due to excise duties and renewable energy taxes.

Eesti Ekspress wrote on Wednesday that a reason for the failure of the project could have been the high excise duty on energy. A server park of the planned size consumes roughly the same amount of energy as the city of Tartu, the paper wrote, adding that the needed energy amounted to more than half of the total expenses of such a project.

There are no discounts for large industrial consumers in Estonia, like Finland or Sweden know them, which made electricity roughly a third more expensive here in Estonia, Ekspress wrote.

The paper also pointed out that every Estonian authority and every official tends to fight tooth and nail for their own interests, ignoring the bigger picture and the goal of bringing the world’s largest technology firm to Estonia for a billion-euro project.

Estonia lacked the kind of bureaucratic fast lane that could issue all the necessary permits and help the investor reconcile their project with Estonian law, Ekspress wrote.

A few months after the negative decision, Apple announced that they would build server parks in Denmark and Ireland instead, with a total investment sum of some €1.7bn.

Both of the new server parks will be about 15,000 square meters large and will be run entirely with renewable energy. The new data centers will process the data of European Apple users, which up to now have been kept in the United States.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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