With the leaps that the pandemic brought to the digital transformation, the needs for data storage in Greece, but also in the wider region of Southeastern Europe, are constantly increasing. Data centers are evolving into one of the most promising markets in the country, upgrading the prospects for the development of a regional data hub in the wider region. The investments that have already been announced create a footprint of more than 2 billion euros in the Greek economy for the coming years.
At the same time, European data protection requirements for European citizens are closing the door on data exports outside the EU, which creates scope for those who manage to gain a foothold in the new market.
The announcement of Microsoft’s investment, last October, for the creation of a Data Center Region in Attica, an investment of 400 million euros, sparked a series of new investments. As announced, the financial footprint of the investment of the American giant, which concerns the creation of three completely distinct units, will exceed 1 billion euros.
Footprint over 1.1 billion euros for Lamda Hellix
Another investment plan, with a huge footprint that will exceed 1.1 billion euros in a decade, is set by Lamda Hellix for next September. The strategic plan, the schedule of investments, as well as their contribution to the Greek economy, was the subject of a meeting, in the middle of last week, between Messrs. David Ruberg, executive vice president, Strategy & Emerging Markets of Digital Realty and Apostolos Kakkos, president and CEO of Lamda Hellix with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Maximos Mansion.
It should be noted that last November, Lamda Hellix was acquired by the American Digital Realty, through Interxion, which manages more than 100 data centers, mainly in Northern and Central Europe (Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, France, Austria, etc.) . Thus, the group set foot in Southeastern Europe. The investments that are expected to seal this acquisition amount to, according to estimates, 400 million euros and focus on making Greece a center for data transfer and storage in Southeast Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Lamda Hellix already operates two data centers at its facilities in Koropi, the first under the name Athens-1 since 2003, and the Athens-2 in 2015, and now the construction of Athens-3 and Athens-4 is underway.
Having the same geographical area on the radar, Hellas Sat is also opening data centers. The company, which has associated its name with the homonymous Greek satellites, which serve data transfer, has already made its start from Cyprus. The first data center for the international television network NBC was built there as a business continuity center, which led to the fact that today the total facilities of the company in data centers have an area of about 1,000 sq.m.
As reported last week, the CEO, Mr. Christodoulos Protopappas, during an event for the twentieth birthday of the company, Hellas Sat will proceed to a new investment, amounting to about 10 million euros, to expand these facilities by 1,200 sq.m. (300 racks) in the area of Koropi.
Respectively, investments that will amount to 2.5-3 million euros for the next five years, are planned by the Greek firm Cloudrock, which provides “smart” data center services. The company, which has a privately owned data center, with an area of 1,000 sq.m., in Agios Stefanos, Attica, seeks to make the data centers smarter, utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
Other groups such as OTE, TI Sparkle, Synapsecom, Space Hellas and Interworks are active in the data centers market, with new smaller investments in the range of 3 to 15 million euros are constantly announced. Recently, Lancom, which has two integrated data centers in Athens and Thessaloniki, announced the creation of the third, called “Balkan Gate I” in Kalochori, Thessaloniki. It is estimated that it will start operating in early 2022.