A massive data centre to be built in Estonia

The Tallinn suburb of Saue is to get a massive new data centre that is going to be the largest in Estonia; the construction was launched on 20 February at the cost of €100 million.

MCF Group Estonia, the company behind the project, has launched the construction of the first phase of its data centre in the Saue municipality near the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Kert Evert, the CEO of MCF Estonia, said the main clients of the data centre will be companies using large volumes of data, coming from the IT, telecom and financial sectors. “The data centre is like a bank – people keep their money in banks, we keep their data in our centre,” he said in a statement.

Opening new possibilities

The construction of the centre was launched by the Estonian foreign trade and information technology minister, Kaimar Karu, on 20 February. Karu said in a statement that the centre was an important project for Estonia, “serving as a safe place for both local startups and global giants” to settle in Estonia. “The sum invested in the centre is substantial, but the potential impact of the project is going to be far greater – strengthening our position in the region and opening up new possibilities to compete internationally,” he said.

A rendering of the data centre (MCF).

The team behind the project came up with an idea to build a modern data centre in Estonia in 2015 and subsequently, formed the MCF Group Estonia to make it reality. The company has 30 private investors from Estonia and Finland. “Each one was carefully selected and invited based on their unique competence, experience and portfolio,” the company says.

Evert said the whole project had been developed by considering the requirements for a purpose-built data centre. “We picked the location on the border of the Harku and Saue municipalities after careful consideration, based on security, existing data and energy connections, as well as good transport links with the harbour, the airport and the city centre,” he said.

An Estonian-Finnish electricity network to provide additional security

The centre will have both physical and electronic barriers and will meet the requirements of the Estonian information security standard that is based on a German information security standard (IT-Grundschutz in German).

The data centre will have access to data transmission systems of all larger telecommunication operators, including the state, connecting the Estonian and European cities. To ensure energy security, the data centre is located right next to the Elering’s – the state-owned electricity company – Harku substation. The connection to the Estlink (a set of high-voltage, direct current submarine power cables between Estonia and Finland) cable provides additional security. “The third layer of security is guaranteed by 200,000 litres of fuel for back-up diesel generators,” MCF said.

Elering’s Harku substation (Elering).

The data centre, which the company claims to be “the largest in the Baltic states”, will be built in three phases and is designed for 3,300 data cabinets with 135,000 servers.

Cover: A rendering of the data centre (MCF).

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