Singapore: Singapore's moratorium on new data center builds lifts, but what's next?

Jan 17, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

This week, Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister made an announcement that the country's moratorium on new data center builds, which was introduced back in 2019. Minister Gan Kim Yong said that going forward, a "more selective" approach to new builds will be taken.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Member of Parliament Louis Chua (WP-Sengkang), he said: "In particular, we seek to anchor data centres that are best in class in terms of resource efficiency, which can contribute towards Singapore's economic and strategic objectives."

Reflecting on the 2019 moratorium, he said, "We had to find a way to manage the growth of data centres in a sustainable manner consistent with our climate change commitments." Moreover, since the pause was introduced, it has been exploring a number of alternative energy sources which could power facilities, such as floating solar farms, floating data centers, and data centers at liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, whereby facilities would use waste cooling to cool themselves down. Likewise, the Singapore government has also been funding innovative research projects that are looking into ways to make data centers more sustainable.

Finding new, sustainable resources is a key focus for Singapore, as currently, it relies largely on natural gas for fuel and energy (96%).