Icelandic operator Borealis Data Centers has acquired a facility in Finland, marking its first international expansion.

The company this week announced it had bought a data center in the Renforsin Ranta Business Park in Kajaani in central Finland.

– Borealis Data Center

Previously owned and operated by Finnish MSP Herman IT, the terms of the deal weren’t shared.

The facility utilizes an old paper mill's infrastructure. According to Borealis’ data sheet, the Tier II quality site currently spans two data halls and is designed for a target capacity of 10MW. The company has plans for upgrades and brownfield and greenfield expansion for HPC and AI workloads.

The company said the site is powered by hydro and wind energy; some portion of excess heat is currently reused, with the opportunity for more in the future. Borealis also noted the site has the potential to utilize river water cooling.

"The Kajaani Campus has been designed to the highest standards and is backed by a robust supply of renewable energy and a secure infrastructure,” said Björn Brynjúlfsson, CEO and co-founder of Borealis Data Center. “Like Borealis Data Center‘s three locations in Iceland, Kajaani benefits from Finland‘s cool climate which serves as an ideal setting for data center efficiency. This facility marks a significant enhancement to Borealis's portfolio, enriching our customer offering. We look forward to welcoming new customers to our new data center.”

Herman IT, a subsidiary of IT firm Kainuu Puhelinosuuskunta (KPO), is to remain a tenant of the facility and continue services to existing customers.

"The transaction is in line with Herman IT's strategy, and it enables a better focus on core competence. I am very satisfied that a top expert in data centers was found as the buyer. Borealis is able to offer data center services that minimize environmental impact. It is a pleasure to continue working with Borealis,” said Herman IT CEO Heikki Juntunen.

Originally founded in 2014, Borealis was acquired by Etix Everywhere in 2018. French investment fund Vauban Infrastructure Partners acquired a majority stake in Borealis Data Center in July 2021. The company operates three sites in Iceland; one in Reykjavík, one in Blönduós, and one in Fitjar in Reykjanesbær.

The company’s Fitjar facility was opened in 2018 and reportedly offers 8MW. The Blönduós campus also opened in 2019 and originally offered 37MW. Borealis announced the launch of a new HPC building at the Blönduós site in 2022, increasing capacity at the site by 12MW. The company acquired a data center outside Reykjavík in 2022.

The Renforsin Ranta area is also home to the LUMI supercomputer, inside a data center built in 2021 by CSC. CSC’s other data center in the area, built in 2012, is also built within an old paper mill.

The business park was sold to real estate firm Redeve Oy by UPM in 2022. UPM set up the Renforsin Ranta Park on the site of a paper mill in 2009, one of a number of paper mill sites the company had developed into business parks. The Renforsin Ranta Park reportedly has 160MW of power available in a number of existing mill buildings that could be retrofitted.

DCD visited the company's Blönduós data center and spoke to the company's CEO for the latest issue of the DCD Magazine. Read it for free today.