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Apple to spend $2bn on converting failed sapphire plant into data center

Shortly after Apple’s sapphire glass supplier GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy in October last year, the Cupertino company promised it was “focused on preserving jobs” in Mesa, Arizona, where GT had its sapphire plant.

Several months on and a Wall Street Journal report has revealed how Apple is going some way to keeping its word with a $2 billion investment in the building of a data center in Mesa, on the same site as GT’s former plant.

Related: Apple and sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies shake hands and part ways

However, while the the project will create 150 full-time jobs, as well as around 400 temporary positions related to the center’s construction, this only goes some of the way to replacing the 700 or so full-time jobs lost when GT’s plant closed.

Apple said the new facility will also serve as a command center for its network of data centers around the world, and will be powered by a solar farm it’s building on an adjoining site. Construction is likely to begin some time next year.

Related: Apple’s iPhone 6 sells big in Q4

An Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg Monday that the company was proud to continue investing in the U.S., adding that the multibillion-dollar project is “one of the largest investments we’ve ever made.”

GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy protection in the fall of 2014 after a $578 million deal with Apple fell through as a result of its failure to produce iPhone 6 screens of a usable quality.

[Source, WSJ, Bloomberg]