Google to set up data center in Tainan

Taipei-U.S.-based tech giant Google Inc. said Wednesday that it will set up a data center in Tainan that will be its second data center in Taiwan after its first one started operations in Changhua in 2013.

Google said in a statement that it has purchased land in Tainan in preparation for the establishment of the center after an assessment that picked the city as the location for the investment.

The U.S. search engine said it was very grateful for assistance provided by the Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the Tainan City government, the authorities of the Tainan Technology Industrial Park and Taiwan Power Co. in selecting the location for the center.

No details about the financial terms for the center were immediately available from Google.

Local media said the first phase of the Changhua data center cost Google about US$780 million, with a workforce of about 200, and that the investment for the Tainan site could hit a similar level.

Google said Taiwan is one of the world's high-tech hubs and has taken advantage of its critical geographic location in the Asian region, and that, plus its long-term efforts in high-tech development, prompted the company to set up the Changhua data center.

After the center became operational in 2013, Google said, the company placed heavy emphasis on the possible environmental impact resulting from the presence of the facility and has therefore devoted itself to environmental protection here.

The measures include a project for waste management and the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles, Google said. Moreover, the company also delivered on its promise to buy 10 megawatts of solar power in Tainan at the beginning of this year as part of its efforts in renewable energy development, the company said.

Through the presence of its data center, Google said, the company has come up with a Data Center Community Grant Program to lend support for community development around the center.

Since 2015, Google said, it has given US$430,000 in grants to more than 40 public schools and non-profit organizations, as well as more than 50 community development projects.

The grants are aimed at helping these communities' with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and narrow the gap in urban and rural development, Google said.

With its investments in Taiwan on the rise, Google said, the company has created more and more jobs for the youth of the country.

Starting from 2018, Google said, it has launched an intern program and several of these interns are now on the payroll of the center, adding that the company has decided to expand the intern program.

Google said it will keep up the pace of its expansion in Taiwan.

In response, the MOEA said the government will continue to cooperate with Google and provide necessary assistance to the company, particularly in terms of water and electricity supplies.

The MOEA added that it will also help Google with the development of a talent pool, as well as the establishment of research and development facilities in Taiwan.

However, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-cher (???) voiced concern over an insufficient green energy supply in Tainan.

He said that since more and more tech companies operating in Tainan will purchase green energy, the city is faced with a situation in which supply cannot meet demand.

In addition to Google, Huang said, other tech firms, including contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), will purchase green energy to facilitate their operations in Tainan.

TSMC is developing the advanced 5 nanometer process in Tainan, and will build a wafer plant in the city to develop even the more sophisticated 3nm technology.

According to Huang, construction of Google's Tainan data center is scheduled to begin at the end of this year in the Tainan Technology Industrial Park.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel