The first contacts with the NOM (Nothern Investment Company) were established at the start of last year, but since May 1 it is official: the American company QTS Realty Trust buys two Dutch data centers of TCN SIG Telehousing. One in the Eemshaven and one on Zernike Campus. Wubbo Everts, project manager at the NOM: "At the NOM we are, like partners such as Campus Groningen, very pleased that this party makes this purchase and invests in this region. This is extremely beneficial for the business climate in the Northern Netherlands."
Strategic step outside America
With this investment of €44 million, the company takes a first exciting, strategic step outside their homeland America, in Europe. Everts: "QTS wants to invest now outside America and was looking for options. They found them in Northern Netherlands. We literally still have space here. Elsewhere in the Netherlands, this is often no longer the case." The data center on Zernike Campus, with a capacity of about 10 gross megawatts of power and 45.00 square feet of raised floor data center space, has about 20 colocation tenants momentarily. The facility in the Eemshaven - currently vacant- is most suitable for one hyperscale tenant. The center has built-out capacity representing approximately 20 gross megawatts of power and 113,000 square feet of raised floor data center space.
At the moment QTS owns more than 5 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space worldwide. So they gain another 15.000 square feet in the Netherlands. What makes the Netherlands attractive for QTS, besides space, are the good connections. "The energy grid in the Northern Netherlands is very reliable and that is of great value to data centers. Its is also q relatively clean operation. This has to do with the fact that more and more green energy is used to power the data centers, which fits the energy transition in the Northern Netherlands", says Everts.
Investment of €15 million
The take-over is accompanied by a serious upgrade of the existing facilities on Zernike Campus and in the Eemshaven. QTS wants to invest €15 million in modernization of both locations. Everts: "This upgrade is beneficial to attract new business. For a lot of the accompanying work QTS is looking for cooperation with Dutch and local companies, such as Zentrys, that has its roots in Groningen. This company has maintained day-to-day operations on both locations for the past five years for TCN."This approach sits well with the modus operandi and mindset of Campus Groningen, where cooperation, reinforcement and engagement are key. Lisanne Brakenhoff, manager Campus Groningen: "On the Campus we certainly see added value and possibilities in regional cooperations with QTS. We like to make new connections, aiming at the smart start for sustainable developments with impact on the regional economy."
Cooperation on the Campus
Are there opportunities for collaboration in the future for local knowledge institutions and companies, and which role does QTS wants to take on in the region and on Campus Groningen? Everts: "At the moment, there are no tangible projects known. But we do know about QTS, that they do want to have an impact on the place and in the society they do business in. American companies often are very consciously paying attention to this aspect, and so is QTS. It is part of the business culture. You can't do it all by yourself."
Brakenhoff confirms the notion that you need each other. "And opportunities are certainly available, the match most definitely can be made. The Campus is full of young and experienced entrepreneurs with the same demand-driven approach and cooperative mentality." Brakenhoff continues: "Besides that, several parties on Campus Groningen know how to collect and process large amounts of data. But even more important, how to extract the value out of these data. We apply our knowledge of Smart Data already on challenges in Healthy Ageing, Sustainable Society and Energy. The arrival of QTS, with this explicit cooperative business culture, can only enhance the already striking power in the field of data."