Construction Begins on ‘Largest Data Centre in Africa’ Worth $1-Billion

Image sourced from Capacity Media.

Vantage Data Centers, a leading provider of hyperscale data centres, has announced the beginning of construction on its new R15-billion ($1.01-billion) data centre campus in Midrand, near Johannesburg, South Africa.

The first phase of the 80MW campus is scheduled to come online in the third quarter of 2022 and will be based in the Waterfall area of Gauteng.

The sprawling carrier‐neutral Johannesburg campus will consist of three facilities across 12 hectares, with 60,000 square meters of data centre space once fully developed, making it the largest on the continent, according to a statement from Vantage.

“Johannesburg is the data centre hub for sub‐Saharan Africa due to its strategic location, IT ecosystem, fibre connectivity to the rest of Africa and the availability of renewable energy. We look forward to not only opening the doors of our first African facility to our customers but also to becoming part of the local community,” said Antoine Boniface, president, Vantage EMEA.

Antoine Boniface, President EMEA, Vantage Data Centres.

Real estate investor group and developer of Waterfall City and Waterfall Logistics Hub, Attacq Group will be partnering with Vantage to develop the campus which is being built around the requirements of Vantage’s global campus blueprint.

Attacq CEO Jackie van Niekerk said, “As the developers of Waterfall City, Attacq is working with Vantage to build a campus that is tailored to meet the organisation’s global requirements while still leveraging Waterfall City’s unique capacity to scale its tenant footprints according to evolving company and market demand.”

A Sustainable Data Centre Facility

Vantage will use its standardised campus blueprint to build the new data centre facility, which will use sustainable construction practices, such as offering renewable energy options to limit the carbon footprints of users.

Sureel Choksi, president and CEO, Vantage Data Centers, said “Vantage has seen strong demand from our customers for high quality, hyperscale data centre facilities across the globe, and we are excited to meet this demand by expanding to Africa’s largest market.”

The campus will also include permeable landscaping and natural on‐site drainage to protect precious resources. Vantage will invest in recycling, motion‐sensor LED lighting and other elements for incremental energy and water savings throughout the campus, in addition to electric vehicle charging stations.

To help meet its energy needs, the campus will also feature a dedicated on‐site, high‐voltage substation. The campus will be cooled using a highly efficient, closed‐loop chilled water system.

An integrated economiser capability will allow reduced compressor energy based on the outside ambient temperature so that when the weather is favourable, cooling becomes more sustainable and less resource intensive.

Vantage Expands to Africa

This project will increase Vantage’s global footprint to five continents. From its initial U.S. roots, Vantage first moved into two Canadian markets in early 2019 before expanding to six European markets in 2020 and five in Asia Pacific in 2021.

Hyperscale data centres are large facilities that allow large tech companies, cloud providers and enterprises to increase their computing capability rapidly. This will be the company’s first one in South Africa and on the African continent.

Johannesburg, the economic powerhouse and largest city of South Africa, has been host to several data centre groups that have invested millions into facilities across the City of Gold.

Recently, Africa Data Centres also completed a data centre facility in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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