Amazon subsidiary to open office in Denmark

Global online retail behemoth Amazon is set to arrive in Denmark in the form of its subsidiary company Amazon Web Services, which will open an office in Copenhagen.

Amazon subsidiary to open office in Denmark
An Amazon workplace in Seattle, United States. Photo: Elaine Thompson/Ritzau Scanpix

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals, companies and governments, enabling them to place data and systems on Amazon’s servers.

The Amazon subsidiary has rented space in Copenhagen’s Codan Building, located by Sankt Jørgen Lake in the Vesterbro district, Ritzau reports.

“We are looking forward to creating new jobs and investing in different areas from our new office in Copenhagen,” AWS’ Scandinavian director Guido Bartels wrote in a press statement.

“Denmark has a potential far greater than the country’s size, both in terms of its highly qualified talent reserve and the many interesting companies of all kinds,” Bartels wrote according to Ritzau.

Current customers of AWS include Spotify and Netflix, as well as authorities such as the CIA.

The service provider is also already used by major Danish companies including Ørsted and Maersk Oil.

Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen spoke enthusiastically of the company’s decision to establish itself in Denmark.

“I am very pleased that Amazon Web Services has decided to open an office in Denmark. Amazon is one of the world’s largest technology companies, and Denmark represents a growing market for their cloud services,” Samuelsen said in a press statement.

“Their announcement confirms Denmark’s position as a digital frontrunner and an attractive place to invest,” the minister added.

Rumours of Amazon’s arrival in Scandinavia have abound for some time, though these have been primarily concerned with the company’s primary business – online retail.

The company, started by Jeff Bezos in 1994, has an astronomical market value of 764.4 billion dollars and registered a turnover of 178 billion dollars in 2017.

READ ALSO: Denmark still the best in Europe for business: World Bank


Google to invest $700 million in Danish data centre

US tech giant Google is to invest 4.5 billion kroner (just under $700 million) on a data centre at Taulov near Fredericia.

Google to invest $700 million in Danish data centre
The site of the planned Google data centre at Taulov near Fredericia. Photo: Peter Leth-Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

The company purchased 73 hectares of land at the site in 2015 and on Monday announced plans to build its first Danish data centre at the location.

“The Fredericia data center will be among the most energy efficient data centers in Denmark to date, taking advantage of advanced machine learning to make sure every watt of electricity counts,” Google's vice president for global data centres, Joe Kava, wrote in a blog post on the company’s website on Tuesday.

Director of Google Denmark Malou Aamund said in a press statement that the decision to place the data centre at Fredericia was evidence of Google’s commitment to Denmark.

“It will create new Danish jobs and make a positive contribution to the economy, both locally and in the rest of the country,” Aamund said via a press statement.

Fredericia’s mayor Jacob Bjerregaard welcomed the announcement and said that the city had been working with Google for four years.

“I am hugely pleased and proud that Google has been able to invest 4.5 billion kroner in Fredericia Municipality – not least when you think about the jobs that will bring,” Bjerregaard said.

1,500 construction workers will be involved in transforming the area into a complex of several-storeyed buildings.

The first section of the data centre is expected to be completed by 2020, with between 150 and 250 engineers, electricians and data specialists ready to begin work at the site in 2021.

The investment has been estimated to create a potential 700 jobs including services and auxiliary roles.

The tech firm has said it is taking into account the environmental impact of the centre.

“In Fredericia, Google is committed to matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy,” Kava wrote.

“This commitment includes the electricity use of our data centers, too. We’re pursuing new investment opportunities… in Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bjerregaard said that no specific demands on use of surplus energy were made in the agreement between Google and Fredericia Municipality.

“We are very keen for Google to supply surplus energy to the district heating network,” he said.

“So we will do all we can to make that happen, but that also means regulations have to be good enough, and that’s a problem to be solved at Christiansborg [the parliament in Copenhagen, ed.],” he said.

The mayor cited levies on surplus energy and the issue of whether there was enough demand to use it locally as potential issues.

READ ALSO: Danish data centres unlikely to make use of surplus power: report