Real asset manager ESR has formed a joint venture with US hyperscaler Stack Infrastructure to build a 48-megawatt data centre in Seoul’s western suburbs, marking the Hong Kong-listed group’s first greenfield server-hosting project in South Korea.
ESR and Stack will jointly develop the data centre in Incheon, having already secured power for the facility from electric utility KEPCO, the partners said Wednesday in a release. Construction of the single building will commence in the first quarter of 2023 for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2024.
Operating under the Stack brand, the facility is designed to support industry-leading energy efficiency and building standards, the companies said.
“ESR’s strong regional capability and experience in Tier 1 data centre markets ensures we are well-positioned to help develop facilities across critical hyperscale locations,” said Diarmid Massey, chief executive of ESR Data Centres. “Partnering with Stack enables us to leverage an outstanding global operating platform and innovative capital solutions to target hyperscale customer growth in key markets.”
Launched in 2019 by Chicago-based private equity firm IPI Partners, Stack Infrastructure moved into the Asia Pacific market with the opening of its Singapore regional headquarters in 2021.
Earlier this year, Stack teamed up with global investment firm Oaktree Capital Management to develop a 36MW data centre campus in Japan’s Chiba prefecture, marking its first facility in the APAC region. In June, the operator announced its expansion into Australia with the development of projects totalling 124MW in Melbourne, Canberra and Perth under a partnership with property firm Hickory.
Pithambar Gona, Stack’s chief executive for Asia Pacific, said the opening of a fifth APAC market in 12 months would enhance the company’s focus on customers’ strategic requirements by establishing a scalable presence in existing and emerging Tier 1 data centre markets.
“We are excited about our partnership with ESR, which illustrates our ability to work with market-leading real asset managers, leveraging our combined expertise to the benefit of our customers,” Gona said.
Piling Up Projects
ESR launched its data centre business last year with a $2 billion project in Osaka. In May of this year, the company took on its second data centre project in Japan with plans to install 20MW of capacity after acquiring a site in western Tokyo’s Higashikurume City.
The industrial giant had established a toe-hold in the Hong Kong market last November when it acquired the Brilliant Cold Storage Tower 2 in Kwai Chung from the family of the late local tycoon Tang Shing-bor for $230.8 million for conversion into a 40MW data centre.
ESR in July announced a first closing in excess of $1 billion for its inaugural data centre fund, under which it plans to finance development projects throughout the region.
As of year-end 2021, the company’s data centre portfolio consisted of six owned development assets totalling 260MW of IT load in Hong Kong, Osaka, Sydney, Mumbai, Jakarta and Singapore, as well as five operational assets in master-leases to key operators in Osaka, Singapore, China and South Korea.