Rack Centre Announces $100M Expansion to Create West Africa’s ‘largest’ Data Center
Carrier-neutral data center operator, Rack Centre, has announced an expansion program that will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6,000 square meters. It will allow for 13MW of IT power capacity in its Lagos campus.
Supporting this ambition, engineering consultancy Arup have been appointed for the project. Arup’s multidisciplinary data center design teams are said to be world leaders in the design and construction of data centers. Arup has designed over 2,000MW of IT capacity for industry leading tech giants and colocation providers across the globe.
The design of Rack Centre’s Phase 2 facility will target regional “industry leading” Power Utilisation Efficiency (PUE) benchmarks. It would contribute towards Sustainable Development Goals in particular Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and Climate Action. Rack Centre is also working on various green data center initiatives to set other benchmarks in the Africa data center landscape.
The announcement follows the news of private equity firm Actis investing in Rack Centre in March this year. Actis has taken a controlling stake in the business alongside Jagal. The funding for this expansion comes from a $250M pan-African data center platform established by Actis and Convergence Partners, a leading ICT infrastructure investor in Africa.
$250M Pan-African Data Center Platform
Next to Rack Centre, the $250M pan-African data center platform is also actively developing additional buy and build opportunities across Africa, to establish a network of carrier neutral data centers aimed at catering to carrier, cloud and hyperscale customers.
Tim Parsonson, co-founder of Teraco Data Environments, a large carrier-neutral data center operator in Africa, joins the Board as Chairperson. The platform has also engaged Frank Hassett, a veteran of the global data center industry and previous Vice President of Infrastructure at Equinix. Mr. Hassett brings over 1300MW of build and operate experience, to assist with hyperscale expansion.
“Africa is at the start of a critical time in its development, as the 4th industrial revolution offers the chance to leapfrog many of Africa’s challenges and harness the immense potential of its people,” said Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Convergence Partners. “Convergence Partners is delighted to partner with Actis in accelerating the growth of high-quality data center infrastructure, an indispensable part of the foundation of this revolution in the region.”
“Mass adoption of digital working models and content distribution is driving growing investment in the region and Rack Centre offers a world class location to house these IT and telecoms facilities,” said Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre.
With 138 million Internet subscribers, more than any country in Africa or Europe, and the largest population and GDP in Africa, Nigeria is a key entry point for global telecommunications, content and cloud players seeking access to the region. However, a lack of cost effective, energy efficient IT infrastructure has been a constraint to doing business in the region, stated Rack Centre.
Rack Centre brings global best practice to Nigeria, as the first carrier-neutral data center in the region to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF). As a uniquely scale carrier neutral player, Rack Centre would allow unrestricted connectivity between customers, telecommunication carriers and internet exchange points within its data centers.
“We are proud of the quality and scale bar we have set in the region and are scaling to be the de-facto digital data hub for West Africa,” said Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre. “Mass adoption of digital working models and content distribution is driving growing investment in the region and Rack Centre offers a world class location to house these IT and telecoms facilities.”