Keppel fund in tie-up to develop sixth data centre project in China

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Keppel Data Centre Fund II (KDCF II) has entered into a strategic partnership with Heying – a wholly owned subsidiary of Tianjin Zhengxin Group – to jointly develop a greenfield data centre in Greater Beijing, China.

KDCF II will acquire a majority stake in Huailai Data Centre and jointly develop the property with Heying, Keppel said in a press release on Monday (July 18). The total development cost of the project is approximately 1.4 billion yuan (S$292 million).

KDCF II is managed by Alpha Investment Partners, which is the private fund management arm of Keppel Capital.

This latest development marks Keppel’s sixth project since entering China’s data centre market in 2020.

Located in Huailai County in the Hebei province, Huailai Data Centre is situated on a land plot that spans 3.3ha. This plot forms part of a larger data centre campus spanning 29.7ha.

Keppel said the development of Huailai Data Centre is taking place “in phases”. When the centre is fully developed by the end of Q1 2023, it will have an expected gross floor area of 678,807 sq ft, which can fit more than 5,700 high-density racks.

Huailai Data Centre has already received strong indication of interest from a major cloud service provider in China, said Keppel.

Keppel noted that Greater Beijing’s data centre market reached 30 billion yuan in 2020, implying a 26 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2020 and making it China’s largest data centre market.

The group added that its Huizhou Data Centre located in the Tonghu Smart City in Huizhou in the Guangdong province has also officially opened.

Mr Wong Wai Meng, chief executive of Keppel Data Centres, said: “Keppel Data Centres’ strategy to work with strong experienced partners and in collaboration with Keppel Capital, enables us to harness synergies and scale up swiftly in developing and operating high-quality data centres in our key growth markets.

“This has helped place Keppel Data Centres in pole position to meet the requirements of cloud service providers, hyperscalers and technology firms in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, building on our strong data centre development and operational track record.”

Mr Alvin Mah, chief executive of Alpha, added that the fund will continue to add more quality assets in key global markets to its portfolio which will deliver “optimal risk-adjusted returns” to its investors.

Keppel shares were trading down four cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $6.45 at 9.18am on Tuesday.