What is the current state of the data center market in your region?

Data centers are one of the fastest growing asset classes. Although over half of the world’s population resides in Asia, it accounts for less than half of the world’s data center capacity. Singapore has been among the most enthusiastic early adopters of new technology and has subsequently established itself as a key regional data center hub that accounts for a large part of the Southeast Asia data center market.

What are the key drivers and goals of the data center business in your region? 

We are seeing strong investor interest in data centers amid the surge in demand for cloud computing, e-commerce, social media adoption, and more secure data access through data localization. These demand drivers, coupled with emerging trends like 5G technology and artificial intelligence, are driving growth in this sector.

What benefits do the local area recognize from the industry?

Data centers enable faster access to cloud-based services and consumer applications and drive the creation of technology-related jobs and services. As a data center hub, Singapore is also well-positioned to drive global best practices around green data center design and operations, which catalyzes demand for more renewable energy initiatives. 

What are the biggest advantages for your location as a data center cluster?

Singapore is a global business city and has 26 submarine cables across 3 landing sites, with more on the way. This infrastructure underscores the volume of data Singapore hosts and transports as well as underpins the country’s attractiveness as a data center hub. Singapore’s business-friendly policies, politically stable environment, extensive talent pool, and lack of natural disasters further enhances its reputation for data center investment and operations.

Who are the biggest champions for data centers in the region?

Hyperscalers and data center developers / operators like CapitaLand Investment (CLI) are the biggest champions. We work alongside hyperscalers to source land and power to develop new data centers. Through thoughtful and deliberate designs, we also seek to build and operate sustainable data centers that meet the needs of customers, communities, and the environment. 

What challenges have you identified, and what is being done to overcome those challenges?

Limited power for data centers in Asia has resulted in increased competition for investment opportunities among industry players, and the need for green designs, operations, and power supply is more imperative than ever. Our local networks and position as a global sustainability leader in the real estate sector help to open doors and identify innovative solutions. For example, 9 Tai Seng Drive in Singapore has been certified with the highest rating of Green Mark Platinum for Data Centers. It features high-efficiency chillers, uninterrupted power supply systems, and LED lighting. Water from the cooling towers is also recycled.

What are the future goals for the data center industry in your region?

We aim to grow at scale in an organized, sustainable way while demonstrating high standards of environmental stewardship and delivering societal benefits. All data centers will need to invest in things like high efficiency cooling solutions, water economization systems, intelligent energy management, and solar panels.

How do you see data centers contributing to digital transformation in the future?

Data centers are the digital engine rooms that power the cloud, consumer applications, and digital transformation. CLI aims to become a major global digital infrastructure player and continue exploring data center growth opportunities in Singapore and beyond.

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