New player invests €600 million in Spanish data centre market

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data centre market

A new player in the Spanish market, Panattoni, is set to develop a data centre on a 60,000-square-metre site in Cerdanyola del Vallés (Barcelona), with an installed capacity of 42 MW. The first phase of this project involves an investment of €300 million.

Panattoni, a European real estate developer specialising in logistics assets, is behind this major investment. Gustavo Cardozo, Managing Director of Panattoni, explained in an interview with elEconomista.es that the second phase of the project is planned for 2027, with the same capacity and an additional €300 million investment. Globally, the company has developed more than 53.7 million square metres of office, logistics, and industrial space.

“Our intention is to continue growing in this market, which currently offers many opportunities thanks to the accelerated development of AI. However, finding land with the right characteristics for establishing data centres is challenging,” said Cardozo.

Unlimited growth ambitions

Panattoni’s growth goal in this segment is “unlimited.” “We have no capital limit as we are working with a group of investors, and we are already in the process of closing at least one transaction before the end of the year,” Cardozo explained. The Managing Director emphasised that logistics will remain the company’s core activity.

Ongoing projects

Panattoni has land in Spain with the capacity to develop 300,000 square metres and has already undertaken 130,000 square metres this year, spread across Miranda de Ebro and Porto. Additionally, they expect to launch a new project near Lisbon. In total, the company expects to close this year with an investment of €590 million. That´s significantly higher than the €280 million invested in 2023, mainly due to the more capital-intensive data centre project.

Land purchases

The company remains active in purchasing logistics land. However, Cardozo noted that “despite the rise in interest rates, land prices have barely adjusted, making it difficult to complete transactions currently.”

Expansion in Spain and Portugal

The company is also exploring land acquisitions in the regions of Valencia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Andalucia, and Portugal. “We have a significant presence throughout the country with projects in 15 provinces,” Cardozo emphasised. He added that while the company is working to expand its portfolio, it will not focus on the speculative development of new assets. “Until financing conditions improve, we will only commit to turnkey projects for our clients.”

The project in Barcelona is expected to result in the largest data centre in Catalonia, contributing to the digital infrastructure in Southern Europe and North Africa.

Data centres in Spain

Spain currently has about 46 large data centre facilities managed by 30 providers, with a combined capacity of 205 megawatts. The leading providers in Spain are Equinix (with 7 locations) and Adam (with 4 facilities). Most of the data centre market is concentrated in the Madrid region.

Spain is attractive for data centres due to its strategic location between Europe, Africa, and Latin America, making it an ideal hub for international connectivity and hosting data for multinational companies. Additionally, Spain has a thriving digital economy that drives the need for data centre infrastructure. The Spanish government also promotes investment in digital infrastructure through tax benefits and subsidies. Lastly, the growing capacity for renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, allows for sustainable data centre operations.

Energy and water needs

The growing interest in data centres in Spain also brings environmental challenges, particularly the enormous energy and water requirements that can negatively impact the power grid and the environment. In the Madrid region, there is already a lack of connection capacity, which threatens its competitive position. Water consumption is also problematic in a country that regularly faces drought.

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