The digital infrastructure buildout in Africa continues to gain pace. U.S. data center specialists Vantage Data Centers and Equinix have each announced new projects in Johannesburg.
The new construction builds on M&A activity last year in which Digital Realty acquired Teraco and Equinix bought MainOne, representing nearly $4 billion in investment in data center growth in Africa. Those deals, along with today's announcements, are a clear indication that the data center industry’s leading players see Africa as an important strategic market, and are willing to move quickly to secure a competitive position.
Africa Data Centres, a platform backed by pan-African tech investor Cassava Technologies, is also experiencing rapid expansion and now has 9 data centers across six countries.. Africa Data Centres is led by CEO Tesh Durvasula, whop has deep sector experience at CyrusOne and Telx.
Vantage Building Bigger
Vantage Data Centers entered the South African market last year with a $1 billion project in Johannesburg. Today it has announced the construction of a second campus (JNB2) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The JNB2 Isando campus is strategically located in Ekurhuleni, the greater Johannesburg Metropol’s trade and industry hub, and approximately 17 kilometers from Vantage’s growing JNB1 Midrand campus. JNB2 is sited near the OR Tambo International Airport and less than two kilometers from the NAPAfrica neutral Internet eXchange in a region that serves as the cloud on-ramp for a number of large technology companies.
“South Africa continues to be a cornerstone for Vantage’s EMEA growth outside of continental Europe,” said Antoine Boniface, president, Vantage Data Centers, EMEA. “Investing in a second campus is a testament to our commitment to the region and our customers who have business requirements to be in this high-demand market.”
The first building of the JNB2 campus will consist of a 20MW 355,000 square foot (33,000 square meters) two-story data center and will be operational in mid-2024. Vantage is repurposing a portion of an existing warehouse for the initial phase, reducing the embodied carbon of the development. It will be cooled using a highly efficient, closed-loop chilled water system generated through air-cooled chillers. An integrated economizer capability will allow reduced compressor energy based on outside ambient temperature. This allows Vantage to take advantage of cooler seasonal temperatures to minimize resource usage.
Vantage’s initial 80MW campus in Midrand, South Africa saw the company open its first 16MW facility in July 202. The next phase is under construction and is slated to be operational in early 2024.
Equinix Enters South African Market
Equinix will build upon its MainOne acquisition with the construction of a $160 million data center in Johannesburg, which is expected to open mid-2024.
"We entered the African continent earlier this year with the acquisition of MainOne, the leading West African data center and connectivity solutions provider with presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire," said Eugene Bergen, President, EMEA, Equinix. "This investment will give both South African businesses the opportunity to expand internationally and global businesses to expand into South Africa. Both will be able to accelerate their growth by rapidly scaling their infrastructure, easily adopting hybrid multicloud architectures and interconnecting with business partners through the Platform Equinix ecosystem of more than 10,000 customers."
Equinix is seeking out sustainable and reliable sources of energy for this new data center as is customary when we enter a new market. While the exploration for sustainable and reliable sources of energy continues, this new facility is expected to feature many unique sustainable attributes including hyper-efficient cooling with outside air economization using minimal water, allowing us to limit our carbon footprint and maintain energy efficient operations with industry leading PUEs.
The Equinix footprint now spans six continents, 32 countries and more than 245 data centers, providing digital infrastructure for more than 10,000 customers.