Macquarie-backed data centre operator AirTrunk announced its Asia operational debut on Wednesday as the Australian firm opened hyperscale cloud facilities in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The two projects have a combined capacity of more than 80 megawatts, and are being rolled out as the growth of Asia’s online economy continues to drive demand for new server infrastructure in the region.
“Today we opened our first data centres in Asia, not just one but two hyperscale facilities — a monumental achievement for the AirTrunk team, our partners and customers,” said Robin Khuda, the founder and CEO of AirTrunk. “Our Hong Kong and Singapore data centres are connected, secure and efficient homes for the cloud in Asia.”
The double debut in Asia comes after the company previously launched two hyperscale data centres in Sydney and one in Melbourne, with another under construction near Tokyo. The facilities will serve as critical infrastructure for some of the world’s largest technology companies, AirTrunk said.
Answering Regional Demand
The 60MW-plus Singapore data centre, dubbed SGP1, is set on 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) in the Loyang area on the east coast, close to Changi North Cable Landing Station and the city-state’s international airport. With over 20,000 square metres (215,278 square feet) of data hall area, the scalable campus is designed to support the rapid growth of hyperscale customers in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia.
The SGP1 campus opened Wednesday with its first 30MW phase, soon to be followed by a second phase already under construction.
For the 20MW-plus Hong Kong facility, called HKG1, AirTrunk converted an eight-storey industrial building near Tsuen Wan in the western New Territories into a data centre to support cloud customers ramping up in the region.
SGP1 and HKG1 are more efficient than legacy colocation facilities designed for enterprise customers, Khuda said. “The shift to cloud-based solutions lowers total electricity consumption overheads and emissions,” he said, “providing a more energy efficient solution for our customers and reducing the environmental impact.”
AirTrunk announced less than 20 months ago that it had raised S$450 million ($337.3 million) in debt and equity to finance SGP1, after spending more than A$1 billion ($750 million) on its data centres in Australia.
In late September, AirTrunk revealed plans to build a 300MW-plus data centre campus in Inzai, a commuter suburb of Tokyo with strong transport links to Narita International Airport. The campus, known as TOK1, will include seven buildings set across more than 13 hectares.
The initial 60MW phase of TOK1 is scheduled to open in late 2021, and when completed the data centre will be the largest in Asia Pacific outside of China, AirTrunk said. The addition of the Tokyo hub is expected to lift the company’s valuation above A$5 billion.
AirTrunk was formerly owned by investors including Goldman Sachs Group’s special situations arm and TPG Sixth Street Partners. In January of this year, the infrastructure arm of Australian investment bank Macquarie Group agreed to acquire a majority stake in a deal valuing AirTrunk at about A$3 billion. CEO Khuda retained a minority stake in the firm.
Data Centres Outperform in 2020
Together with warehouses, data centres have helped industrial property trades outperform sales of other assets classes during 2020, according to a November report from Real Capital Analytics.
Transaction volume in the tech/telecom/data centre segment in the first nine months of the year was up 169 percent in Singapore, 295 percent in Australia and 551 percent in China against the three-year average, the report said.
During the first three quarters of this year, transactions in Asia Pacific’s industrial segment were up 15 percent compared to the same period in 2019, while office was down 38 percent and retail tumbled 53 percent.