By Claire West

Google's new €75 million data centre opened yesterday in Dublin.

The new data centre - which houses computers that run cloud computing services such as the Google search engine, Gmail and Google Maps - ranks amongst the most energy efficient in the world.

It uses an advanced air-cooling system to keep its computers running smoothly, taking advantage of Ireland's naturally cool climate.

As a result, the centre does not require costly and power-hungry air-conditioning units, which are still used in many traditional data centres. This enables Google to reduce significantly its energy requirements and helps maintain its global status as a carbon-neutral company.

Construction of the data centre took just under one year to complete, and in total over 1,000 people working for over 90 specialist building and engineering companies contributed to the build, with an average of 250 people working on site on any given day. Over 80% of the businesses involved were Irish. In total approximately 400,000 man-hours were dedicated to design and construction of the data centre.

Now that it is operational, the data centre will provide employment for 30 people in a range of roles including computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, catering and security staff. Open positions can be found on Google's jobs website (google.com/about/jobs).

John Herlihy, head of Google in Ireland, said: "Demand for our services has grown rapidly in the past few years and our footprint in Ireland has expanded too - we now employ over 2,500 people here in Dublin, up from around 2,000 a year ago. Our new data centre is a key long-term investment for us and further strengthens our ties with the city and the country."