Singapore pitches in on US$3.9B Equinix data centre expansion

The limited liability partnerships between GIC and Equinix will pump an additional US$3.9 billion into the data centre vendor’s xScale investment tally.
Charles Meyers (Equinix)

Charles Meyers (Equinix)

The Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private Limited, has inked agreements for additional joint ventures with Equinix in a move that will see the global data centre operator further build out its xScale data centre portfolio. 

The limited liability partnerships between GIC and Equinix will pump an additional US$3.9 billion into the vendor’s xScale data centre investment tally, which now comes to more than US$6.9 billion across 32 facilities globally.  

The move is part of a two-year-old program by Equinix to build out its xScale data centre presence, which adds to Equinix’s global platform of more than 220 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres by serving the core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world’s largest cloud service providers.  

With xScale data centres, hyperscale companies can add core deployments to their existing access point footprints at Equinix. 

“For years, the world’s largest cloud service providers, including Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services [AWS], Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, have partnered with Equinix to leverage its global platform of more than 220 data centres to directly connect to their strategic business partners and customers,” said Charles Meyers, Equinix CEO. 

“With our xScale program, these hyperscalers can continue to grow at Equinix while in close proximity to an ecosystem of 10,000 customers.  

“The joint venture arrangement of xScale enables these large deployments to be structured in an off-balance sheet model that aims to preserve capital for investment in our traditional retail data centre and digital infrastructure business and maintain our strategic and financial flexibility,” he added. 

After the close of the deal and its subsequent buildout, the Equinix xScale data centre portfolio will span three regions, including Asia Pacific, with Osaka, Japan, to claim three xScale data centres, and Tokyo also set to get three xScale data centres. 

Other regions include Europe, with new facilities in Dublin, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Warsaw. In the Americas, Mexico City and São Paulo will also gain new facilities. 

It is expected that the xScale portfolio of 32 facilities will provide more than 600 megawatts (MW) of power capacity when fully built out. 

The latest joint venture projects are expected to close in several waves over the course of 2021, pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.  

Under the terms of the agreements, GIC will own an 80 per cent equity interest in the future joint ventures and Equinix will own the remaining 20 per cent equity interest. 

In December last year, Equinix revealed it would open a new purpose-built data centre during the first half of 2021 in Singapore, backed by an initial investment of US$144 million in response to heightened demand for cloud connectivity services.

Representing the vendor’s fifth IBX launch in the city-state, the facility - named SG5 - was slated to provide an initial capacity of more than 1300 cabinets during the first phase, spanning approximately 18,400 square feet of colocation space.