EdgeConneX has formed a joint venture with the infrastructure arm of Philippine conglomerate Aboitiz Group to develop and operate data centres across the island of Luzon, the EQT-backed firm announced Wednesday.
EdgeConneX, a hyperscale specialist backed by the Swedish private equity firm, said that, starting next year, the partnership will tap into Aboitiz InfraCapital’s bank of 1,400 hectares (3,460 acres) of potential sites across Greater Manila to establish a data centre network, while the Philippine conglomerate’s renewable energy provider, AboitizPower, can ensure green power for the facilities.
“They possess the local assets and expertise required to build out critical digital infrastructure that can best support our customers across the entire country,” said Randy Brouckman, chief executive officer of EdgeConneX. “We look forward to investing in the digital economy of the Philippines and meeting our customers’ needs throughout the region.”
EQT’s digital infrastructure arm joins rival Flow Digital Infrastructure, the data centre platform of PAG, and other regional players in establishing server facilities to serve the bandwidth-starved mobile users of the Southeast Asian archipelago.
Southeast Asia Expansion
EdgeConneX and Aboitiz plan to boot up their joint venture with a pair of Metro Manila facilities of at least 20 megawatts each, with construction expected to commence in early 2023. The initial data centres will be followed by development of an additional hyperscale campus in the Greater Manila Area.
“Based on the typical hyperscale deployments of EdgeConneX, the capacity of the planned facilities will likely range between 20 and 50 megawatts,” Kelvin Fong, managing director for Asia Pacific at EdgeConneX, said in an interview with Mingtiandi on Thursday. Fong said the partners will start building smaller capacity facilities before progressing to larger data centres as the market matures.
“The partnership will grant EdgeConneX access to over 20 other potential land sites across the greater Manila area,” he added. “For each facility, we will work closely with relevant stakeholders to define, build and deliver the capacity they need.”
Fong said the local economy is “primed” for the next wave of data centre developments thanks to the country’s massive population, strong government support for the sector and the development of a network of submarine cables systems that link the Philippines with other countries.
EdgeConneX’ partners at Aboitiz InfraCapital, see the facility as fulfilling growing demand for remote computing power and mobile data in the Philippines.
Company president and CEO Cosette Canilao said the partnership is kicking off at a time when the country’s digital infrastructure remains inadequate for current demand, with a shift toward cloud computing and e-commerce exacerbating the shortfall.
The tie-up marks the latest move by EdgeConneX to ramp up its operations in Southeast Asia.
In May, the US-based firm entered Indonesia after taking over local data centre JV GTN Data Centre from Mitsui and Lippo Group’s PT Multipolar Technology, with that moving positioning EdgeConneX to develop a 90 megawatt hyperscale data centre campus on an existing Jakarta site.
It also set up its APAC regional headquarters in Singapore in August of last year when it Fong to lead its regional expansion.
Flow-Ayala JV Eyes 36MW Facility
On the same day that EdgeConneX revealed its Philippine entry, PAG’s Flow announced that, under a partnership set up with AyalaLand Logistics Holdings in May, the company aims to develop a 36 megawatt hyperscale campus in the country.
While the partners did not disclose the project’s location, Flow said the initial 6 megawatt IT load is slated to be operational by the end of 2024.
Flow has announced two ventures since PAG launched the digital infrastructure venture last year. Three months after its Philippine entry, Flow expanded into Australia with the acquisition of ASX-listed colocation provider DXN in a deal worth A$26 million (then $17.97 million).
Earlier last month, however, DXN revised the acquisition to retain its data centre operations and only sell the business and assets of its Edge module manufacturing business to Flow for A$20 million.
A report by Arizton Advisory and Intelligence showed data centre investments in the Philippines reached $298 million last year and predicts that level will more than double to $635 million by 2027 as the country continues to see capital flow into the sector.