Google announced Monday that it will invest 450 million euros ($608 million) over the next 10 years to expand the biggest data center in northern Europe, located in the southeastern Finnish town of Hamina.

With this expansion, the California company seeks to increase the capacity of its servers to deal with the huge growth of data traffic on the Internet, basically brought on by the boom in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

"As demand grows for our products, from YouTube to Gmail, we're investing hundreds of millions of euros in expanding our European data centres," the head of Google's operation in Finland, Anni Ronkainen, said in a statement.

Google, proprietor of the world's most popular search engine and the YouTube video portal, among other enterprises, inaugurated the Hamina installations in 2011 after converting a 60-year-old Stora Enso paper mill into a modern data center.

The choice of this small Finnish port city was due, according to Google, to the fact that it offered the right combination of energy infrastructure, land for development and available work force.

Its geographical position and cold climate will also mean a considerable savings in energy, since the center uses the freezing waters of the Baltic Sea to refrigerate its electronic equipment.

With this new expansion, Google will have invested a total of 800 million euros ($1.08 billion) in Finland, which adds up to the largest private investment by a foreign company in this Nordic nation in recent years. EFE