Facebook on Wednesday opened its first European data centre in northern Sweden, which began to handle commuter traffic from around the world.
The city of Lulea, located 900 kilometres north of Stockholm, was chosen for its access to hydropower and the "chilly Nordic air" that will help cool thousands of servers used to store photographs, videos and other information, the company said.
Mayor Karl Petersen told Swedish Radio news that the opening was "a milestone," comparing the event to when Lulea was linked to the Swedish railway system, or when the steel works or the Lulea Technical University were established.
The city is located on the same latitude as Fairbanks in Alaska, and ranks as the coldest region in Sweden.
The data centre consists of a 28,000-square-metre server building. One or two more buildings could be added in future.
The adjacent Lule river generates about 9 percent of Sweden's electricity.
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