Korean state agencies to build $3.6bn data centre campus
Two state-owned Korean entities have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to design and build a new data centre park.
The Korea Land & Housing Corporation and Korea Data Centre Council will collectively spend 4bn Korean Won ($3.6bn) on the project, which will comprise three data centre clusters, located across a 90,000 square metre campus.
According to a by the Korea Herald, the Korea Land & Housing Corporation and Korea Data Centre Council will collaborate with a third South Korean ministry, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, on the construction process, and are looking to raise additional investment with the help of public offerings to real estate investment trusts.
The campus will also be powered exclusively by renewable energy sources, according to the MOU. Simultaneously, Korea Land & Housing Corporation and Korea Data Centre Council will also reportedly collaborate on joint projects to install renewable energy generation infrastructure systems in smart cities throughout the surrounding area, which the two organisations are already working on.
The relationship between South Korea’s booming data centre industry and the ROK government is often a close one. A total of 16 new data centres are expected to this year. That number is expected to grow to 32 by 2025, although the pandemic may accelerate growth even further as demand for digital services spikes.
As with the majority of its tech sector, the Korean government is an ardent supporter of supporting Korean interests over foreign corporations. Currently, Naver is the only Korean player in the country’s cloud market, with more than storing their data in clouds operated by AWS and Microsoft.
However, this could be about to change, as Korean companies like Kakao (a domestic alternative to WhatsApp with such incredibly high penetration in the Korean market that it has been widely used as a way for the government to issue district-wide warnings and as the platform for its COVID-19 track and trace program) and Naver expand their data centre investment. At the same time, Korea’s three telecoms - KT, SK Telecom and LG U+, are also building out their own data centre capacities.
In August, KT Corp signed an MOU with the Korean government’s Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corp (KIND) to work together on boosting the nation’s domestic and international data centre industry. KT will design and operate data centres in response to overseas partnerships forged by KIND.
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.