Data Center Execs from Portugal's Start Campus Resign Under Bribery, Corruption Probe

Dec. 1, 2023
Far-reaching corruption probe is focused on the Stines Data Center project by Start Campus, as well as lithium mining and green-hydrogen production projects.

Cabling Installation & Maintenance (CI&M), Data Center Frontier's sibling in parent company Endeavor Business Media geared toward IT and facilities network professionals, recently reported on how a hyperscale data center under construction in Portugal has been caught up in an investigation of corruption by the Portuguese government. 

As penned by CI&M Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin, the story describes how that investigation has led to the arrest and resignation of two data center executives, the arrest of government officials, and the resignation of Portugal’s prime minister. 

Within days, a judge dropped corruption charges against all five who had been arrested, but not before the two data center executives resigned their positions. 

Afonso Salema had been CEO and Rui Oliveira Neves had been chief legal and sustainability officer of Start Campus, developer of a hyperscale data center in the Portuguese town of Sines, prior to their arrests and resignations. Salema and Oliveira Neves were among five arrested on charges related to corruption and bribery.

Reuters’ Catarina Demony has reported on the ongoing situation multiple times, including reporting that the accused have been released and some charges dropped. The reporting indicates the corruption probe is focused on the Stines data center project by Start Campus, as well as lithium mining and green-hydrogen production projects.

The corruption probe led to the resignation of Portugal’s prime minister, Antonio Costa, who maintained his innocence. 

Start Campus describes its Stines project as “a hyperscale data center campus with a capacity of up to 495 MW—an investment of up to €3.5 billion." It will be one of the largest data center campuses in Europe and meets the growing demand from large international technology companies. 

Start Campus further emphasizes that the project “will be one of the largest data center ecosystems with 100% green energy at competitive prices in a premium location in Europe.”

The operator added that the project “will benefit from all the strategic advantages such as sea water cooling systems, access to the high-voltage electrical grid, and connectivity through connection to high-capacity international networks of fiber-optic cables with Europe, Americas, and Africa.”

Read the full story at Cabling Installation & Maintenance.


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Data Center Frontier charts the future of data centers and cloud computing. We write about what’s next for the Internet, and the innovations that will take us there.

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