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Facebook to build its first Asian datacentre in Singapore

The high-rise facility will be the first of its kind to incorporate Facebook’s datacentre cooling system, cementing Singapore’s position as a datacentre hub

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Facebook is building its first Asian datacentre in Singapore, underscoring the social media giant’s growing footprint across the region.

To be built by Fortis Construction to the tune of S$1.4bn by 2022, the 170,000m2, 11-storey facility will support hundreds of jobs and cement Singapore’s position as the region’s datacentre hub.

Facebook said the high-rise datacentre would be the first to incorporate its StatePoint Liquid Cooling system. This technology minimises water and power consumption and is expected to reduce the amount of peak water used by 20% in climates like Singapore’s.

Located in the western part of Singapore, the datacentre, designed from the ground up, will also be powered by 100% renewable energy. Facebook is currently working to increase the development of solar resources in Singapore.

With an annual power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.19, the datacentre will make use of every watt of power to run Facebook’s computing equipment. The building façade is made out of a perforated lightweight material that allows airflow and offers glimpses of mechanical equipment in the facility.

Facebook said it chose Singapore to house its latest datacentre due to the city-state’s robust infrastructure and access to fibre connectivity, a talented local workforce, as well as support from government agencies, including the Economic Development Board (EDB).

“Singapore has also established policies that foster a business-friendly environment, including measures that support the enforcement of contracts and increase the ease of construction permitting. The World Bank recently named Singapore as the number one country in Asia to do business,” said the EDB.

Read more about datacentres in APAC

Singapore ticks all the boxes as a datacentre hub. According to the Data Center Risk Index report by global real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, the city-state was placed in pole position out of 10 Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries in terms of robustness of datacentre business operations. Other countries/territories in the top five are South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

In terms of capacity, Singapore already sits at the top of the APAC datacentre market with a current total supply of 370MW of IT power supply among colocation operators.

“Around 59MW of IT power is readily available for datacentre use, and 103MW can be converted into IT power within three to six months should demand keep pace,” Cushman & Wakefield said in its report. “Singapore has seen an influx of new datacentre capacity in the past two years, with an additional 130MW on top of the existing capacity of 240MW at the beginning of 2015.”

The company predicted that over the medium to long term, Singapore should be able to expand its capacity by another 100MW on the back of its smart nation initiative.

“Local datacentre providers such as Singtel, Keppel Data Centres and ST Telemedia stand to be the primary beneficiaries of this, while the international datacentre providers will continue to focus on winning international deals from medium to large enterprises coming into Singapore,” it said.

Read more on Datacentre backup power and power distribution

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