Shanghai-based GDS Holdings has hooked up with Malaysia-listed YTL Power International to co-develop 168 megawatts of data centre capacity across eight individual facilities at a campus in Malaysia’s Johor state.
The first phase of the co-development will enter service in 2024 at the YTL Green Data Center Park about 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from the cities of Johor Bahru and Singapore, the partners said Wednesday in a release.
YTL Power’s digital infrastructure arm, Singapore-headquartered YTL Data Center Holdings, is developing 500MW of capacity at the solar-powered campus in the Iskandar region surrounding Johor Bahru — the southernmost city in Malaysia — to supply rack space to operators in the country and across the border in the Lion City.
“We are delighted to partner with such an outstanding group as YTL, with an exceptional track record of infrastructure development over more than 60 years,” said GDS chairman and CEO William Huang. “This project is truly visionary, combining hyperscale data centre capacity, powered by on-site renewable energy, within touching distance of the major regional hubs.”
Shared Green Vision
The YTL Green Data Center Park will occupy 275 acres (111 hectares) of a 2,000 acre industrial site in the Iskandar economic zone. Construction is underway on the park’s 72MW initial phase, separate from the GDS co-development, with the facility scheduled to open in 2024. The entire 500MW project is expected to be completed within the next 8 to 10 years.
The campus will be powered by a 300MW solar farm built within the industrial site, in line with YTL’s stated focus on developing green data centres across Southeast Asia and addressing long-standing energy concerns in the power-hungry industry.
The park will also provide dark fibre connectivity — which offers direct, low latency network connections — to hyperscalers and enterprise clients in Singapore and other parts of Malaysia.
“We are excited to partner with GDS, one of the largest data centre companies in the world, to anchor our world-class green data centre campus in Johor,” said Yeoh Seok Hong, managing director of YTL Power. “Our shared vision for a truly integrated, sustainable energy powered facility with dedicated dark fibre capacity is an exciting one and will position it as the place to be for hyperscalers and co-location customers alike.”
YTL Data Center established its first server facility in Singapore just last December, when it paid an undisclosed sum to take over local startup Dodid. The acquisition gave the company ownership of a 12.5MW hyperscale data centre at Tagore Lane.
Southeast Asia Expansion
With mainland-based rivals Chindata and VNET subject to stock meltdowns and takeover buzz, GDS remains in expansion mode despite its own NASDAQ-listed shares plunging 65 percent in the last 12 months.
Last July, GDS announced plans to develop a 54MW hyperscale facility at Johor’s Nusajaya Tech Park as the company’s maiden project in Southeast Asia. The first phase of the development, with 18MW of power capacity, is expected to be completed in early 2024.
Four months later, GDS revealed its second project in the region, a two-building data centre in Indonesia’s Batam. The Chinese firm struck a deal to acquire greenfield land at Nongsa Digital Park, about 25 kilometres southeast of Singapore, on which to develop 28MW of power capacity. GDS said it expected to secure a supply of renewable energy to support the site.
In its 2021 annual report filed this week, GDS posted full-year net revenue of RMB 7.8 billion (now $1.2 billion), up more than 36 percent from a year earlier, and a net loss of RMB 1.2 billion, widening from a RMB 669.2 million loss in 2020.
The company had data centres in operation spanning 487,883 square metres (over 5.2 million square feet) at the end of 2021, predominantly in and around major Chinese cities.