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Portugal’s start campus poaches Google leader for $4.2bn Sines data centre campus

Phase one of the 495MW development is set to open in early 2023 with 1,200 highly qualified jobs planned for 2025 as more buildings come online.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

October 29, 2021 | 6:00 AM BST

Portugal’s start campus poaches Google leader for $4.2bn Sines data centre campus

Luís Rodrigues, chief operating officer at start campus. Source: start campus

Hyperscale data centre developer start campus has appointed former Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) data centre leader as chief operating officer (COO) as the Portuguese company prepares to break ground on the first phase of its €3.5 billion (US$4.2 billion) campus.

Engineer Luís Rodrigues joins the operations in Sines and will work on the operational development of the first phase of SINES 4.0, a data centre facility named NEST, which comes with an initial investment of €100 million ($117 million).

Projected to come online at the beginning of 2023, the proof-of-concept (PoC) facility will have availability for one to six clients across six spaces of 2.5MW with a total area of 5000 sqm or 54,000 sqft.

With 14 years of market experience, Rodrigues was previously a data centre operations manager at Google in the Netherlands, where he managed one of the largest data centres of the North American multinational in Europe.

During his time at Google, he was in charge of several data centres in Europe, including Spain, Italy and Finland.

Before joining Google, Rodrigues was a facility and project manager at PLM, in Lisbon, where he worked in at one IBM data centre and one at facility at Portugal Telecom. Prior to that, he was a facility and project manager at LMGE, also in Lisbon, where he worked in the management and maintenance of several data centres including IBM Alfragide, SIBS, Montepio and Telvent.

Rodrigues has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa.

Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I am very excited about this new mission. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of such an innovative and challenging project.

“It is a privilege to be part of a great team and help to have a positive impact in my country, Portugal.”

start campus is backed by US-based Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP and UK-based Pioneer Point Partners, who have jointly invested $1.2 billion in Echelon Data Centers in 2020.

The company has recently entered into an agreement with EllaLink, the operator of the 5,900Km subsea cable connecting Europe and South America.

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