Facebook to build US$1bil data centre in Singapore

Facebook will invest over US$1bil to build a data centre in Singapore, its first in Asia, powered by renewable energy and adapted to the city-state’s tropical climate.

SINGAPORE: Facebook will invest over US$1bil to build a data centre in Singapore, its first in Asia, powered by renewable energy and adapted to the city-state’s tropical climate.

The centre is expected to be operational around 2022, depending on the speed of construction, and will host Facebook servers and centralise its IT operations, Thomas Furlong, Facebook vice-president of infrastructure data centres, said at a press conference with local authorities.

It would be able to support hundreds of jobs. Facebook has a number of data centres in the United States as well as Ireland and Sweden, and it is building a facility in Denmark.

The Singapore facility will be located in the west of the island, near where Google is expanding its Singapore data centres in an US$850million investment as mobile growth, e-commerce and cloud computing demand rise across the region.

“The data centre isn’t country specific to where users are located…it’s a dynamic process,” said Furlong.

The 170,000 sq m (4.2 acres) site in the land-scarce city-state will be stacked over 11 storeys, and will come with custom features to cope with the steamy temperatures, which rarely drop below 25 degrees Celsius.

These include a new state-of-the-art cooling system which uses water rather than air and will work better in the humidity, as well as a building facade made of perforated, lightweight material to allow for better air flow.

The company expects it to be run on 100% renewable energy, like its other data centres.

The S$1.4bil (US$1.02bil) facility will be the first data centre designed and constructed by Facebook in Asia as the company increasingly relies on custom-built facilities to meet its needs, Furlong said.

It will be Facebook’s 15th data centre worldwide. Furlong said the S$1.4bil (US$1.02bil) facility will be the first data centre designed and constructed by Facebook in Asia as the company increasingly relies on custom-built facilities to meet its needs.

Google has also built two data centres in the city-state, and announced this month it was starting work on a third, bringing their investment in the sites to US$850mil.

Despite its popularity in Asia, Facebook has also faced criticism, particularly in Myanmar where it was used as a platform for the army and Buddhist hardliners to spread hate speech against the Muslim Rohingya minority. – Agencies

The Star newspaper, Friday, 7 September 2018

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