Keppel Data Center REIT: Keppel Corp. Advises Singapore to Switch to Greener Data Centers or Risk Losing Demand

May 23, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

The Keppel Corporation is requesting that authorities develop environmentally friendly data centers. According to Nikkei Asia, Wong Wai Meng, the chief executive officer of Keppel's data center division, warned that the nation's capacity limitation is insufficient to meet current demand. The company predicts that the sector's aggregate demand in Singapore will exceed 3000MW by 2030. 

The country terminated a three-year moratorium on new data center initiatives in January 2022 but has since implemented a capacity cap limiting new applications to 60MW per year, for a total of 420MW by 2030, which is a fraction of what may be required. Despite the city-state's modest size and population, Singapore is a popular location for data centers. The moratorium was implemented in 2019 due to the country's need to reduce carbon emissions and lack of green energy sources.  The hot and humid climate necessitates more power to effectively chill IT equipment in data centers, accounting for seven percent of Singapore's total electricity consumption.

Despite the fact that this impeded Singapore's development, it allowed Malaysia and Indonesia to fill the void. Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia are now home to data center projects such as Princeton Digital Group's 150MW campus in Johor, the $3 billion Vantage campus in Cyberjaya, and Area31's $67.5 million data center in Depok, Indonesia.

Keppel is not the first company to exhibit concern regarding the after-moratorium restrictions' repercussions. SGTech argued in April 2022 that the quota was insufficient to support Singapore's rate of digitalization.