Facebook is to submit a planning application today for a new data centre in Co Meath, in an investment thought to be worth close to €200 million.

If approved, the facility near Clonee will likely result in the creation of hundreds of temporary construction jobs and dozens of permanent operations roles.

Facebook considers itself a world leader in energy efficient data centres following construction of an innovative new environmentally friendly facility in Oregon in 2011, and another in Lulea in Sweden, which runs on hydropower.

It has shared what it has learned about building energy efficient data facilities with others through what it calls the Open Compute Project.

The latest plan is to build the new centre on a site in an industrially zoned part of Clonee.

The company said it intends to draw on local renewable energy supplies, talent and fibre infrastructure.

The project is supported by the Department of Jobs through the IDA Ireland.

IDA Chief Executive Martin Shanahan and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton have both welcomed the announcement for its potential to deliver economic impact.

Facebook said the announcement shows its continued interest in investing in Ireland where it has had a presence since 2007.

The social network already employs 900 people at its European headquarters in Dublin, which is its largest office outside its global headquarters in the US.

It said it will continue a conversation with residents of Clonee over the coming weeks, as the planning process progresses.