Hong Kong: ESR secures Sustainability-Linked Loan (SLL) for Hong Kong data center development

Aug 03, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

ESR has secured a Sustainability-Linked Loan (SLL) to develop a data center in Hong Kong, it has announced. It has closed the first SLL in Hong Kong, worth HK$1.6 billion (US$205m), which will be used to convert a building in Kwai Chung into the 21.3MW ESR Kwai Chung Data Centre HK1.

The company acquired the former cold storage facility on a 3,214 sqm (34,600 sq ft) plot back in 2021 and will be converted into a 15-story, 40MW data center.

Plans detail that the renovation would add around 2,450 sqm (27,370 sq ft) of space to the ground and lower ground floor. With the expansion plans, the total floor space will reach around 32,700 sqm (352,000 sq ft)

The five-year secured, committed facility has a tiered incentive mechanism which means that the company will be entitled to an interest reduction once the project's sustainability targets are met.

Stuart Gibson and Jeffrey Shen, ESR Group co-founders, and co-CEOs, said: "We are very proud of the ESG credentials of our data center in Hong Kong and thank Crédit Agricole CIB, SMBC, and UOB for supporting it with the SLL.

"With the continued increase in data center demand, our support from CLP Power also helps to bolster tenants' environmental commitments and helps Hong Kong achieve its carbon neutrality goals."

Crédit Agricole CIB acted as the Sole Sustainability Advisor and Coordinating Bank, while SMBC and UOB acted as Sustainability Agents.

CLP Power managing director Joseph Law said called the project a "significant milestone" in the collaboration between CLP Power and ESR towards decarbonization. "By using a sustainability-linked loan to create a hyperscale data center, we hope it can serve as an example to promote environmentally friendly practices and the development of green buildings."

"We look forward to collaborating with ESR on similar projects and exploring new opportunities in Hong Kong and across the Greater Bay Area," Law said. 

Meanwhile, Carmen Tsang, head of sustainable investment banking for Greater China at Crédit Agricole CIB, said: "We congratulate ESR for leading the way with the launch of this innovative sustainability-linked loan – this is a fruition of the company's ongoing dedication in striving towards sustainable and green practices in its energy-efficient data center."