From the May Issue


World Reports

Quick-hitting news briefs fill us in on Europe’s smartest cities; the EU’s thoughts on global competition; a $6 billion ethylene plant in Qatar; Magna’s Romanian engineers; Roadway innovation in the Netherlands; a Saudi Arabian battery materials plant; and SK bioscience’s new HQ and R&D center in Songdo.

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Among the hyperscale colocation projects on the docket is a $1 billion-plus, 500-job data center campus on the site of a former U.S. Army barracks in Hanau, Hessen, Germany, from French firm DATA4, which Brookfield announced yesterday it had agreed to acquire.
Image courtesy of DATA4 and Invest in Hessen

Among the eyebrow-raising findings in the 2023 Global Data Center Outlook being released today by JLL: At the end of 2021, global data center energy consumption reached 190.8 terawatt hours – 2.2 times more than in 2020. Data centers now collectively account for approximately 2% of total U.S. electricity use. JLL sees a direct correlation to the work-from-anywhere economy.

“After the pandemic removed the four walls of the workplace, our new world of hybrid work has created an unprecedented need for digital technology,” said Andy Cvengros, managing director, JLL. “Employees are looking to their companies to create a seamless experience wherever they choose to work, requiring intelligent technology solutions to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital.” That means “impressive” data center growth, says JLL, which notes the global colocation data center market size is forecasted to grow by 11.3% from 2021 to 2026 and the hyperscale market by 20%.

“The U.S. is seeing strong appetite compared to other regions and accounts for 52% of all data center transactions from 2018 to 2022,” the new report states. “Additionally, the U.S. had 1,633 megawatts (MW) of absorption in 2022 for the six U.S. primary markets – Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New Jersey, Northern California, Northern Virginia and Phoenix. These markets also have 1,939 MW under construction.” As for hyperscale, “with 314 new hyperscale sites globally in development today, that number is expected to surpass 1,000 by the end of 2024 — up from around 500 sites just five years ago,” JLL says, citing Uptime Institute’s finding that 53% of that hyperscale capacity is in the U.S.

Since January 2020 Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database has qualified 513 data center projects that involved at least $1 million invested, 20 new jobs or 20,000 new sq. ft. of space. Watch for our analysis of new hyperscale location trends in the July issue of Site Selection.




The Metallic Allure of Kentucky

The Bluegrass State is a magnet for investment in the metals sector.

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Five years ago, Site Selection documented how Williams Sausage’s $44 million in Obion County, Tennessee, benefited from the NMTC program.

Photo courtesy of Williams Sausage

Congressional representatives from across the political spectrum last week introduced the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Extension Act of 2023. It calls for the program to be extended permanently, and for $5 billion in annual credit authority to be devoted to the highly successful program that has revitalized neighborhoods across the country. “This House bill joins its Senate companion (S. 234) to provide bipartisan and bicameral support for a 20-year-old program with a clear track record of creating jobs and bringing much-needed economic development to underserved areas,” said Aisha Benson, president of the NMTC Coalition and resident and CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund. “We believe the NMTC is an effective program deserving of a permanent home in our tax code.”

Since its inception in 2000 as the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act, says the Coalition, the NMTC has generated more than 1 million jobs and $120 billion in investment. It backed 277 projects and helped create more than 52,000 jobs in 2021 alone. Check out the NMTC Coalition’s websit and project database for examples of how thousands of projects and companies in every corner of the nation have been supported by the NMTC.




Closer to Home and Closer to Clients

You can have the best of both worlds in Colorado.

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HÜBNER Group last week inaugurated a new complex in Malonagathihalli, Nelamangala Taluk in the Bengaluru metro area that was launched as a project in 2020. The company produces folding bellows and gangway systems for rail vehicles. Nearly 80% of the 8,200-sq.-m. (88,267-sq.-ft.) facility will be devoted to production. “At the old location [in Dabaspete], there were only 3,000 square meters to handle all of the company’s processes, and this space was distributed among three locations, which were several kilometers apart from each other,” the German company explained. Current major projects being handled by the company include supplying systems for metros in metropolitan Bengaluru, Mumbai and Sydney, Australia. “The new ‘Namma Factory’ [“our factory”] makes it possible for HÜBNER to operate more effictively, more flexibly and with shorter delivery routes in India’s growing market,” says Kai Mentel, managing director of the HÜBNER Group. “With local production at the new location, we are not only meeting localization requirements and reliably serving the needs of our customers, we are also strengthening the entire global production network of the HÜBNER Group.”

Source: Conway Projects Report


Not every battery is headed for an EV. We still need the old-fashioned alkaline variety too. Last week Duracell announced this $25 million, 25-job investment in its battery component manufacturing operation in Cleveland, Tennessee. It will support the company’s site in LaGrange, Georgia. The Cleveland plant on Mouse Creek Road opened in 1961 and has shipped C-sized and D-sized batteries for decades. “With this investment, the site adds a new important role of supporting our greater North American supply chain,” said Stefaan Boterberg, president, Duracell Manufacturing, LLC. “We agree that Duracell is ‘Engineered for More,’ and we believe it,” said Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks. “From the ‘Power Forward’ relief program to supporting local organizations, Duracell makes Cleveland a true copper-top community.”

Source: Conway Projects Report



Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s California-Great Basin team hosted a construction and geology workshop last month near B.F. Sisk Dam and San Luis Reservoir where this striking image was made. The region, one of five Reclamation regions across the nation’s 17 western states, encompasses two-thirds of California, the Klamath Basin and most of Nevada. A major seismic upgrade now underway — Reclamation’s largest dam safety project under the 1978 Safety of Dams Act — received a $100 million investment earlier this year from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Watch for more coverage of water supply in the May issue of Site Selection.