CapitaLand India Trust is ready for its third data centre project as the REIT on Tuesday announced plans to invest INR 19.4 billion ($230 million) to acquire and develop a Chennai site for a 55-megawatt facility.
SGX-listed CLINT has agreed to spend INR 832.8 million ($10 million) to buy the 4 acre (1.6 hectare) freehold site in the Ambattur area, the trust’s manager said Tuesday in a release. The data centre in the southern India tech hub is to be developed in phases over the next four to five years on land purchased from local conglomerate Godrej Group.
The announcement comes one week after the trust managed by Singapore’s CapitaLand Investment revealed a INR 12 billion ($155 million) commitment to build a data centre in Hyderabad, bringing the REIT its first server-hosting project in southern India after acquiring a greenfield site in Navi Mumbai with plans to invest INR 12 billion in a facility there.
“With this latest acquisition, CLINT will have a presence in India’s key data centre markets — Navi Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai, and we are also planning to develop a fourth data centre in Bangalore,” said CLINT chief executive Sanjeev Dasgupta. “This will allow us to expand in the resilient and highly scalable data centre asset class, diversify our data centre portfolio geographically, and enable us to better serve our customers across the country.”
Expansion in No.2 Market
The Chennai data centre is designed to host global technology giants and cloud service providers, as well as large domestic enterprise clients. Acquisition of the site is due to close this month, with construction scheduled for completion by the end of 2025.
When fully developed, the data centre will have the capacity to host 4,900 racks and operate at an efficient power usage effectiveness of 1.45, said Surajit Chatterjee, managing director for India data centres at CapitaLand Investment.
“The acquisition site is in a prime data centre location in Ambattur, close to sea cable landing stations, reliable power supply and has a well-developed infrastructure,” Chatterjee said.
Chennai, once known as Madras, is India’s second-largest data centre co-location market and its IT load capacity of 88MW accounts for 12 percent of India’s total capacity, the trust’s manager said, citing JLL research.
The Chennai facility is expected to increase CLINT’s total portfolio size by 1.7 percent to 25.7 million square feet (2.4 million square metres).
Server Shed Portfolio Shaping Up
In Hyderabad, CLINT will develop a 36MW data centre over the next three to five years with the goal of serving hyperscale clients and other large enterprises in the region. The project is within the trust’s International Tech Park Hyderabad, which already comprises five office buildings.
The Navi Mumbai project, meanwhile, is designed to provide 90MW from a 575,000 square foot campus in Airoli that can house 8,500 racks upon completion.
Construction of both the Hyderabad and Navi Mumbai projects is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023, while work on a facility in CLINT’s International Tech Park Bangalore is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of next year. The trust’s four data centres aim to deliver a combined 251MW of power when fully developed.
“CLI has been seeing rising investor interest in the digital infrastructure sector and we are actively working on a pipeline of data centre deals across Asia,” said Patrick Boocock, CEO of private equity alternative assets at CapitaLand Investment. “India is a particularly interesting market; in the last five years, $14 billion has been invested in India’s data centre sector, and the amount is expected to cross $20 billion by 2025.”
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