Africa Data Centres has announced that it has secured a piece of land adjacent to its existing data centre in Nairobi, Kenya, and plans to expand the facility up to an extra 15MW of IT load. The build will be completed in the first half of 2024 and will bring five times more than the current capacity.
According to Hardy Pemhiwa, Group President & CEO of Cassava Technologies, “Colocation has become the foundation of African digital transformation and will be for the foreseeable future. Our investment into expanding our data centre operations in Kenya is in line with the increasing demand that we are experiencing due to the significant increase in the adoption of digital services in the East African region.”
The new data centre will begin with 5MW of IT load and will be built in the company’s leading-edge modular design. This innovative approach sees the entire facility, including all critical plant rooms, prefabricated off-site to ensure the highest possible quality. Local contractors will be used to lay foundations, assemble, and complete the build.
In terms of cooling, Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres, says the company has a strict policy that has banned the use of adiabatic systems. “We do not use water in any of our cooling systems and are one of the few colocation providers who have taken this step. Although many believe water and adiabatic systems are more efficient than air cooling systems, this is not the case. With the newest technology, if free-cooling capacity is maximised, it becomes far more efficient and saves water which is becoming a scarce commodity”.
Additionally, the expansion will allow Africa Data Centre clients to grow and scale depending on their requirements. They can start small, increase to a medium capacity, and even benefit from a hyper scale type of deployment in a few years if they choose to. “This is very reassuring for customers, as it brings a lot of synergies by enabling them to operate multiple deployments across Africa Data Centres sites with a single operations team and a campus and infrastructure they are familiar with,” says Durvasula.
Customers will also benefit from fast access to the cloud and managed services within the diverse ecosystem and increased external network options, thanks to Africa Data Centres’ extensive connectivity partners. In addition, sustainability is top of mind for all initiatives undertaken by Africa Data Centres. Therefore the company always tries to optimise the topology of its electrical infrastructure and selects the best and most efficient solutions to drive down its Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) and maximise energy efficiency.
Nearly 70 per cent of grid power is sourced from green energy. This helps the company meet its sustainability objectives because no company can achieve zero carbon emissions on its own. This latest announcement is a step forward in the company’s expansion plans announced in 2021, which will see Africa Data Centres investing $500m into building hyperscale data centres across Africa. Breaking of ground for the expansion is an integral part of ADC’s Pan-African expansion plans, as Kenya is a crucial market in Africa and a gateway to the entire East Africa region.