Social media giant Facebook is planning to invest more than $1.4 billion to build a data centre in Singapore. Located at Tanjong Kling, the new facility will be the first of Facebook’s data centre in Asia along with its growing presence in Singapore and across the region.
In a press release published on Thursday (Sep 6), Facebook touted how the facility is designed to be ‘hyper-efficient’ in terms of the use of water, energy and land. For example, it will incorporate a liquid cooling technology that will minimise water and power consumption. The testing also showed that this technology can reduce the amount of groundwater used by 20 percent in climates like Singapore’s.
According to the press release, the 11-storey building’s facade is made out of a perforated lightweight material that allows air flow. Building the data centre, which will span 170,000 sq, upwards instead of outwards is also claimed as another way of conserving land use. Fortis Construction has been assigned as its general contractor because of their joint experience building efficient data centres, Channel News Asia reports.
Speaking to reporters at the launch event, Mr Thomas Furlong, vice president for Infrastructure Data Centers at Facebook said that the construction of new building is expected to support hundreds of jobs. Meanwhile, the facility will require hundreds of operators as well, ranging from network maintenance to logistics staff. He added that given it is a long-term project, the company is still working out its staffing needs.
He said the data centre is estimated to start operations in 2022, but that would just be the first phase and more construction is expected to continue beyond that. “It’s going to take a while,” he said.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who was also present at the launch event, commented Facebook decision to locate its first Asia data centre here marks a significant milestone for the country. He said the company’s presence in the country suggests how Singapore is increasingly connected to the world beyond the traditional modes of air, land and sea. He added that it would facilitate the flow of talent, ideas and creativity into the country.
The new facility will also strengthen the country’s role in data storage, which would augment its other strengths in data protection, intellectual property, data security and data analytics, Mr Chan added.