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Africa Data Centres details blueprint for new Sameer facility

By , Portals editor
Kenya , Africa , 20 Jan 2023

Africa Data Centres has announced plans to expand its datacentre operation in Nairobi, and said it has identified a new site to accommodate an extra 15MW of IT load to be added to its existing infrastructure.

The Cassava Technologies company said the new data facility will begin with 5MW of IT load and will be built in modular design – an approach that sees the entire facility, including all critical plant rooms, prefabricated off-site.

“This ensures the highest possible quality, whilst local contractors will still benefit from contracts to lay foundations, assemble, and complete the build,” Africa Data Centres added.

The expansion will be completed in the first half of 2024 and according to the company will bring five times more capacity than is currently installed.

Africa Data Centres said Kenya has an innovative tech culture because it has pioneered mobile money and is home to a wide range of incubators and tech start-ups.

The company wants to uplift the country's profile globally “as an attractive investment destination for international cloud providers, hyperscalers, and other ICT companies.”

In terms of cooling, Africa Data Centres has a strict policy of not using adiabatic systems.

Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres, said, "We do not use water in any of our cooling systems and are one of the few colocation providers who have taken this step.”

While the common belief might be that water and adiabatic systems are more efficient than air cooling systems, according to Durvasula this simply 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 critical commodity, particularly in Africa."

He added that Africa Data Centre is fortunate in Kenya as almost 70% of grid power is from green energy sources. "This helps us to meet our sustainability objectives because we understand no organisation can achieve zero carbon emissions by itself. We understand that sustainability is about ensuring that we conduct ourselves in a manner that minimises our impact on the environment. We extend this ethos to all of our partners, and constantly look for ways to ensure that all elements of the business contribute positively to the sustainability of the planet”.

Africa Data Centres said it will invest US$500-million in the construction of hyperscale datacentres across Africa, supported by the US Development Finance Corporation.

Hardy Pemhiwa, Group President & CEO of Cassava Technologies, said, “We believe that datacentres will play a significant role in digital transformation and economic growth on our continent. Without them, the push towards a digital economy in Africa will be missing a key pillar. Our decision to increase our investment in our datacentres in Kenya is in recognition of the position the country now occupies as a leader in the adoption of digital technologies in Africa."

Durvasula added, “The expansion will enable Africa Data Centres clients to grow and scale depending on their requirements. They can start small, increase to a medium capacity, and even benefit from a hyperscale type of deployment in a few years if they choose to. This will enable customers to operate multiple deployments across our sites with a single operations team, campus, and infrastructure they are familiar with".

Kigali interest

In November 2022 Africa Data Centres announced plans to construct a new datacentre in Kigali, the company’s first in Rwanda.

The new facility will have 2MW of IT load and is scheduled to be ready in the first quarter of 2023.

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