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How Singapore’s data centre operators are tackling government sustainability goals

How Singapore’s data centre operators are tackling government sustainability goals

The government is concluding its review into new data centres and will be sharing its plans with the industry later this year.

Digital Realty's third and largest facility in Singapore, the multi-story, 50-megawatt facility known as Digital Loyang II or SIN12.

Digital Realty's third and largest facility in Singapore, the multi-story, 50-megawatt facility known as Digital Loyang II or SIN12.

Credit: Digital Realty

AirTrunk’s SGP1 facility was launched in December last year, with the company claiming at the time that it was Singapore’s largest and most efficient independent data centre.

The company maintains that SGP1’s design power usage effectiveness (PUE) is the lowest in the market, coming in well below Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Platinum marks in terms of energy efficiency.

Since it opened SGP1, AirTrunk has seen the ‘significant’ demand that exists in the local market. 

An artist's impression of AirTrunk's Singapore data centreCredit: Airtrunk
An artist's impression of AirTrunk's Singapore data centre

Like Digital Realty, AirTrunk has taken a stance that aligns it with the Singapore government’s efforts to put sustainability before development – or at least try to strike a reasonable balance between the two.

“We are completely aligned on the need to develop data centres in a considered manner to balance the demand for critical hyperscale data centre capacity with Singapore’s objectives including climate targets and its national development strategy,” a spokesperson for AirTrunk told Channel Asia.

From AirTrunk’s perspective, modern data centres, like its freshly launched site, are built with energy efficiency in mind and could actually represent a larger opportunity for Singapore to be more sustainable if businesses move their workloads to such infrastructure, the government’s development pause notwithstanding.

“Hyperscale data centres, like AirTrunk SGP1, significantly bring down average energy and water use,” the company’s spokesperson said. “The faster that businesses migrate data to the cloud from less efficient on-premise or smaller data centres, the more meaningful the energy and water usage efficiencies that can be achieved.”

However, as noted by Smith, AirTrunk also conceded that new data centres are an essential ingredient in Singapore’s economic prosperity, meaning a way forward must be struck between ensuring sustainability goals while creating the infrastructure needed to support the market – and access to the right kind of energy production will play role.

“Building high quality data centres is a vital step to enable Singapore to continue its technology evolution to be a major Asia Pacific digital hub,” the AirTrunk spokesperson said. “The challenge in this market is the ability to access the level of clean energy required to power data centres.

“Our focus is on how we effectively leverage our scale to support and fast-track the transition to a clean energy future, including supporting Singapore’s accelerated transition to sustainable energy, scaling up the ‘Four Switches’ to transform the power grid and the ‘Green Plan’, and considering importing renewables or bringing in green hydrogen,” the spokesperson said. 


Tags SingaporeDigital RealtyAirTrunkData CentreMark Smith

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