SK to build $1.75bn hyperscale data centre, startup hub
SK Broadband - the internet infrastructure division of SK Telecom, one of South Korea’s three largest telecommunications providers - has announced plans to invest $1.75bn (KRW2trn) in the construction of a new hyperscale data centre surrounded by a startup campus.
“South Korea has optimal conditions to emerge as the region‘s data center hub with its geographical advantage,“ a representative of SK Broadband said in a statement to the press on Monday.
The first phase of the data centre and startup cluster development is expected to be completed by 2024 and comprise four data centre buildings, with plans to add 12 more by 2029. Initially, SK Broadband will power the facility using 30% renewable energy, with plans to scale that figure up to 100% in the future.
The project has been funded by a consortium comprising SK Broadband and SK E&S. the consortium won its bid to go forward with the project after agreeing to also construct a 200 MW floating solar farm in the nearby area, as part of the Korean government’s plans for North Jeolla to generate a total of 2.4GW of solar power annually.
SK E&S CEO Yu Jeong-joon said in a statement: "Based on this project, SK E&S will enhance its clean energy businesses within and outside Korea and make more contributions to local economies."
The Korean data centre business is currently booming. An undersaturated market, with low energy costs, strong government incentives and one of the world’s most developed digital economies - compounded by South Korea’s position as the global leader in 5G adoption - has provoked a surge in data centre construction over the past year.
Korean social media and tech firm Kakao (the country’s equivalent to Facebook and WhatsApp, which have struggled to gain adoption in Korea) that it had begun construction of a hyperscale campus near Seoul. The country’s leading tech firm, Naver, has also stepped up its data centre investment over the past two years.
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.