Interxion has opened its second Marseille data centre as it looks to build a Mediterranean connectivity hub.

The first phase of MRS2, the company’s second site in the southern French city, opened today, less than four years after it acquired its first site there.

According to the firm, the decision is as a result of growing demand from connectivity and content providers. Cloud platforms looking to use Marseille as a starting point for delivering services and applications around the world have also contributed, the company said.

The city is a landing point for 13 submarine cables, giving it a significant advantage over other European cities. There is a growing market in connectivity at submarine cable landing points, as international connectivity takes on increasing importance. Equinix, for instance, recently announced a project connecting North and South America to Spain via a series of subsea cables.

The new Interxion site in Marseille is being built in three stages and will offer 4,400 sq. metres of space and around 7MW of available power once complete. The first stage, which is now complete, takes up 700 sq. metres. The whole project will ultimately cost the company around €76 million (approx. £67 million).

The data centre itself will be based in a former naval workshop, in ‘Freyssinet’ style buildings. Interxion’s project will mean the refurbishment of some of the Marseille-Fos Port, which was previously linked to port activity.

Jean-Claude Gaudin, Marseille’s mayor, commented on the development of the city as a digital hub. “We are particularly proud to attend the inauguration of Interxion’s MRS2 data centre, in addition to the several assets the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis has in the digital field.

“It reflects the willingness of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis to place the digital sector at the very heart of its development and attractiveness strategy.”

David Ruberg, Interxion CEO, said: “Opening MRS2 is an important second step for Interxion in developing Marseille as a digital hub. This investment in the heart of the Mediterranean will help us to respond to the growing demand of our customers who wish to expand to Marseille to develop their activity in Europe and to reach emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.”

Interxion is a major European provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data centre services. It saw a 17% growth in revenue in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year.