Published 1.6.2018

Metsähallitus assessed possible data centre sites on state-owned lands

Metsähallitus is continuously examining state-owned land and water property from different angles. One of our goals is to find sustainable business opportunities in order to bring vitality and business to different parts of Finland. In cooperation with the engineering, project and consulting company CTS Engtec Oy, we have now assessed and ranked the most suitable sites for data centre areas on state-owned land.

The amount of global data is growing exponentially, and there is intense worldwide competition concerning placement of the data centres needed to store all this data. Finland’s strengths in this competition are a stable social order, a high level of competence and education, good infrastructure, a cool climate, reasonably priced electricity, and stable ground.

“Data centres are an important part of the modern digital economy and digitalisation, and Metsähallitus wants to be a frontrunner in terms of promoting these areas,” says Jarkko Mähönen, who is a planning engineer at Metsähallitus.

“Finland is the most advanced European country in terms of using digital cloud services and the key operating requirements for this business sector are very good in our country, especially for large data centres. This is why it’s very logical to locate data centres here in Finland,” explains Business Finland’s Senior Advisor Toni Mattila.

Reijo Parkkinen, who is CTS Engtec Oy’s Business Area Manager, Data Centers, states that large data centre operators around the world have noticed that – after Central Europe and Ireland – the Nordic countries provide the most interesting locations for data centres in Europe.

“By ensuring Finland’s competitiveness, we will attract more investments in data centres in the future,” predicts Parkkinen. “Metsähallitus is supporting Finland’s supply of areas suitable for data centres.”

Factors that affected the data centre ranking for state-owned areas were access to electricity from two directions, transport and telecommunications connections, municipal engineering, the possibility for free cooling with air or water, and the possibility to utilise residual heat produced by the building. The plot also has to be very suitable for construction without any risk factors on the actual plot or in the immediate vicinity. These criteria were best met by state-owned land in Liperi, Loviisa and Heinola.

“Since the competition for data centre sites is so tough, it’s very important for the municipality to be committed to the project. We ensured this by holding discussions with each of the TOP 3 sites, which are most advanced in Liperi and Heinola,” says Mähönen.

A data centre requires a town plan which is at least on the local detailed plan level, so Metsähallitus has recommended that Liperi initiate this process. The area would be marked with a T symbol in the plan, indicating that it is suitable for industrial and business use and as a data centre area. The municipality of Liperi will address the decision to initiate planning in June.

Metsähallitus and the municipality would sign a land use agreement concerning the planning, and a goal of launching the planning process this summer.

Business Finland does international data centre marketing work and another aim is to link Metsähallitus sites to its platform. The Business Finland platform will facilitate sales work and also make it easier for customers to compare the sites because certain basic information is available for all of them,” explains Mähönen.

Further information
Metsähallitus Property Development, Planning Engineer Jarkko Mähönen, +358 40 540 6266,

Business Finland, Senior Advisor, Foreign Direct Investment Consulting Toni Mattila, +358 40 500 9909,

CTS Engtec Oy, Business Area Manager, Data Centers Reijo Parkkinen, +358 400 682 272,