Apple to invest $2 billion to convert failed Arizona sapphire plant into a data center

Apple

Apple Inc will invest $2 million in the state of Arizona to convert a failed sapphire glass plant into a data center.

Apple Inc will invest $2 million in the state of Arizona to convert a failed sapphire glass plant into a data center.

In a press release, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the facility will employ 150 full-time Apple employees and will require 300 to 500 construction and trade jobs.

The new data center will “serve as a command center for our global networks,” Apple said in a statement. “This multibillion dollar project is one of the largest investments we’ve ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than 1 million jobs Apple has already created in the US.”

In November 2013, Apple collaborated with GT Advanced to construct the Mesa facility to manufacture sapphire, a scratch-resistant, transparent material that can be used for screens on tech gadgets. Back then, Apple announced the facility would provide employment to nearly 700 people and would create 1,300 construction and management jobs, and some market watchers expected the company to use sapphire in its newest iPhones. However, GT struggled to get production off the ground and Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was released with non-sapphire screens.

In 2014, the Arizona sapphire plant went bankrupt after its key partner, GT Advanced filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, move that came immediately after it signed the $578 million deal with Apple. GT Advanced further announced that it would reject about a dozen agreements with Apple and close down its massive sapphire-production facility in Mesa.

After the bankruptcy-court filings were made public October 10, GT came out with an explanation for its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing, stating the cash burn from operating the Arizona sapphire-production plant for Apple wasn’t viable and that GT required to shut down work there to sustain the company.

A bankruptcy court approved the settlement between Apple and GT in December. Currently, GT has a time limit of four years to sell off the equipment in the plant to pay back Apple. The progression of the facility to Apple is part of a court-ordered process in which GT can make use the facility through the end of 2015. Apple won’t fully regain control of the site until 2016.

Similar to all Apple data centers, the new Arizona facility will be powered entirely by renewable energy and most of the power will come from a new local solar farm, Apple noted. Ducey said that Apple projects will generate around 70 megawatts of clean energy, which is enough to power more than 14,500 Arizona homes.

Apple’s “decision to bring this new facility to Mesa is a huge win for Arizona and a high testament to our business-friendly climate and talented workforce,” Ducey said Monday.

Carrie Ann
Carrie Ann is Editor-in-Chief at Industry Leaders Magazine, based in Las Vegas. Carrie covers technology, trends, marketing, brands, productivity, and leadership. When she isn’t writing she prefers reading. She loves reading books and articles on business, economics, corporate law, luxury products, artificial intelligence, and latest technology. She’s keen on political discussions and shares an undying passion for gadgets. Follow Carrie Ann on Twitter, Facebook

Recent Posts

Visa takes over Swedish fintech Tink in €1.8bn deal

Visa takes over Swedish fintech Tink in €1.8bn deal

: Visa is committed to perform better in the field of open banking sector by combining its networks and Tink’s modern technologies.
2 hours ago
BP Invests $7 million in Electric Vehicle Charging Technologies

BP Invests $7 million in Electric Vehicle Charging Technologies

Investment in IoTecha is linked with BP’s intention to produce over 70,000 public EV charging points globally by 2030
3 hours ago
Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet set to cover the globe soon

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet set to cover the globe soon

Starlink, the satellite internet unit of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, will most likely be able to provide global coverage by September, according to the company’s president Gwynne S
1 day ago
At the next Krispy Kreme IPO, the donut maker aims to raise nearly $4 billion

At the next Krispy Kreme IPO, the donut maker aims to raise nearly $4 billion

Krispy Kreme, the popular donut chain, aims raise roughly $4 billion as it makes one of the biggest IPO debuts at the NYSE.
1 day ago
Panasonic hopes Blue Yonder acquisition will improve its software woes

Panasonic hopes Blue Yonder acquisition will improve its software woes

Most Japanese major companies, which at one time were leaders in consumer electronics, are struggling to find their feet in a world that has moved to digital software. Electronics
2 days ago
Ikea and Rockefeller Foundations to raise $10 billion for renewable energy projects in poor countries

Ikea and Rockefeller Foundations to raise $10 billion for renewable energy projects in poor countries

The Ikea and Rockefeller foundations are jointly launching a $10 billion fund to promote small-scale renewable power projects in developing nations. Both
3 days ago