Luxembourg’s Economy Minister Lex Delles has said Google may yet still build a data center in the Grand Duchy.

The search and cloud firm is again in negotiations to build in the European country, despite the project previously stalling.

Google Data Center
– Google

“I can confirm that since the end of last year and the start of this year, we are having more intense talks with [Google] again,” Minister Lex Delles told broadcaster RTL this week.

Reports Google was interested in building a data center in the Bissen area of Luxembourg first surfaced back in 2017.

The €1 billion project ($1.07bn) was hit with repeated regulatory hurdles at the local and national levels. After forcing a local farmer to sell land to Google, the company only received regulatory approval in 2022.

The proposals faced legal challenges over environmental impact and energy demands – reports suggest the site could have consumed up to 10 percent of the country's water supply and increased the country's energy demands by a significant amount. To reduce water demand, the site was to reportedly rely on wastewater from a nearby sewage treatment plant.

In 2022, politicians said there seemed to be little movement on the campus from Google, with some describing the project as “dead.”

Last year, then-Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said the data center was “not a priority” for Google after a visit to California. He said the project stalled over the geopolitical situation and energy issues.

2024 is reportedly the year that Google has to begin building work on the 33-hectare site under the terms of the 2017 land sale.

Delles said he is “confident” that the talks will lead to a breakthrough, though he admitted he was personally not involved in the negotiations. He did not say what obstacles remain for the project to go ahead.

“The goal is that we in Luxembourg do not miss the opportunity of [big] data,” he said.

In the intervening years, Google has expanded its data center footprint in neighboring Belgium, and partnered with local operators in Luxembourg for a sovereign cloud offering.

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