IXAfrica breaks ground on region’s largest data centre
IXAfrica, the African arm of Russian-UK based data centre company , has plans to build the largest hyperscale data centre in the Greater East African Region. The facility, located in Nairobi, is IXAfrica’s first foray into the Kenyan market and represents “a significant investment” in the country’s digital economy.
He added: “We are committed to helping the next generation of tech entrepreneurs in Kenya by providing world-class access to data centres and networks, welcoming the arrival of hypercloud to East Africa and providing on-campus offices and facilities to allow new tech business to thrive."
The Nairobi facility will have a total capacity upon completion of 42.5 MW, making it a potential hub for cloud investment in a region with approximately 300mn potential customers.
The first phase of the project, according to IXAfrica’s VP of sales and development, Niraj Shah, will comprise a 4.5 acre campus development, which the company expects to expand upon as more international internet operators are attracted to the region.
So far, Shah explained, these international operators have been “eyeing the market but who have been frustrated through the lack of credible data centre capacity here.” IXAfrica hopes that the Nairobi campus will change that state of affairs.
IXAfrica foresees the campus serving as an interconnection nerve centre for the digital economies of Kenya and its surrounding countries, revealing the hope that the data centre will act as a junction for “most fibre optic cables in the region,” which the company claims will result in the creation of a “vast and reliable” internet ecosystem of cloud and technology companies on the campus.
Willner, himself the ex-President of global data centre leader Equinix’s European operations, noted that, "Our team members each have 20 years of experience in the data centre industry and this, combined with strong investor support and the trust of our many international clients and partners give us grounds to be confident that we will achieve our main goal - to become the leading data centre operator in Kenya."
IXAfrica isn’t the only company hoping to drive a data centre capacity boom in Kenya. Last year, the Pan African Internet Exchange Data Centres (PAIX), on a new data centre in Nairobi with financial support from the Dutch Government.
GTR and SEGRO agree first UK data centre facility
SEGRO, a property investment and development company, has announced it has come to an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR) to construct its first UK-based data centre. SEGRO claims that the facility, which will span a total area of 400,711 sq ft, will be located in Slough and is to become “the largest data centre campus in the UK’s premier data centre and communications hub”.
What will SEGRO’s data centre facility be used for?
Supported by the global investment firm KKR, Global Technical Realty says it will be using the facility’s space on a 25-year term to operate bespoke data centres for high-growth global technology companies. The new facility aims to support the growing demand for third-party data centre provision amid ever-increasing growth in data usage and cloud services adoption.
Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of GTR, said: “We are excited to be back in the UK alongside our partner KKR and look forward to working closely with SEGRO to deliver this state-of-the-art data centre campus. The data centre space is a fast-moving one. GTR was established to support its customers in providing a data centre solution wherever in the world there is a demand for it. We are delighted that the UK will become home to our flagship concept”.
James Craddock, Managing Director, Thames Valley at SEGRO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome GTR as the latest data centre operator to our thriving estate and our team of experts look forward to developing a stunning new facility for them and their customers. “Homeworking, data streaming, e-commerce and businesses’ reliance on cloud services have all grown during the pandemic, meaning demand for data centres is unabated.
“Slough Trading Estate is home to Europe’s largest data centre cluster and data centres are increasingly regarded as part of our key national infrastructure given the critical role they play in our daily lives”, he added.
The facility is expected to be delivered in two phases with operations beginning by Q4 of next year. The first phase plans to provide 132,575 sq ft of space phase two will create 268,136 sq ft of space. “Vacant possession of the site delivered to the customer by early 2022”, SEGRO said.
The project is also expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction, and a further 80 permanent roles once completed.