Ericsson gives update on Vaudreuil-Dorion ICT centre
Project one of three around globe
Pilon posed the query during a Sept. 18 press event during which the company, a wireless communications technology giant, updated officials and the media on the status of the $434-million, 4 0, 0 0 0 - s q u a r e - metre global informa t ion - and- communication-technologies centre, ICT, Ericsson is in the process of building in the Vaudreuil-Dorion industrial sector.
The Global ICT Centre is one of three such facilities Ericsson has or will open to enable its worldwide 25,000 Research and Development engineers to collaborate beyond borders more efficiently.
The first centre opened this month in Linköping, Sweden. The final Global ITC Centre will be located in Stockholm, where Ericsson is based. Mr. Henderson said the three facilities combined will be the size of 14 football fields. They will cost an estimated $7 billion SEK.
Mr. Henderson says the Vaudreuil-Dorion centre is on track for an expected 2015 opening date.
Last week’s gathering began with a multimedia presentation and a question and answer period at the Chateau Vaudreuil and ended with tours of the construction site.
Mr. Henderson answered Mayor Pilon’s question by saying the decision to locate the only North American super centre in Vaudreuil-Dorion had a lot to do with “finding the right piece of land.” In addition, proximity to existing Ericsson Canada R&D offices in Ottawa and Montreal made Vaudreuil-Dorion a good choice.
Likening the process to that of casting a wide net, Mr. Henderson said it was a process of elimination that brought them to Vaudreuil-Dorion.
The company says the facility will house Ericsson’s complete portfolio and together with the two super centres, will allow the company to consolidate test labs and data centres currently located around the world.
Most employees at labs and test centres slated to be closed will be relocated or reassigned, the gathering was told. The focus of the company’s R&D operations
Vaudreuil-Dorion mayor Guy Pilon had one burning question when speaking with Ericsson Canada president Mark Henderson last Thursday: “why Vaudreuil-Dorion?”
will shift to innovation of next-generation technology and cloud-based services.
And while the Vaudreuil-Dorion ICT centre will primarily be staffed by engineers and technicians, an estimated 50 to 60 new jobs are expected to be created.
In addition to the ongoing construction, the running of the mega centre will require “a tremendous amount of energy,” Thursday’s gathering was told. Two thirds of the facility’s space will be devoted to drawing the 45 megawatts of needed power. The company says it has been having “great negotiations” with Hydro Quebec, and will bring in dedicated power lines in phases in order to meet its power objectives. Phase one will see two power lines brought in. Despite the huge draw, the facility will reportedly boast “industry-leading energy efficiency.”
Mayor Pilon admitted there have been some growing pains, with neighbours calling city hall to complain about noise from weekend construction. Especially contentious was a process during which enormous pilings were being driven deep into the ground. The resulting noise and vibrations caused many complaints, he said.
“We spoke to (Ericsson) and they were very cooperative. They reduced the noise by not doing the construction on Saturdays,” Pilon said, adding the decision delayed the overall construction time but appeased the residents.
Pilon said in addition to giving Vaudreuil-Dorion a $1 million annual tax break, Ericsson is “not asking anything from us in terms of infrastructure. They’re taking care of everything.”
Ericsson employs 3,100 people in Canada and provides funding for R&D projects at more than 15 Canadian universities and colleges.
Students are also given the chance to gain hands-on experience at Ericsson facilities.
Worldwide Ericsson employs more than 110,000 people in more than 180 countries. Ericsson was founded in 1876.
Of f i ci al s with Eric s s on Canada were in Vaudreuil-Dorion last week to give an update on the construction of the Vaudreuil-Dorion Global ICT Centre.