Ascendas India Trust to invest INR12b to develop phase one of its first data centre campus in India

The data centre campus has a total potential built-up area of up to 575,000 sqft and 90 megawatts of power.

Online PR News – 05-July-2021 – Singapore – Ascendas Property Fund Trustee Pte. Ltd., the Trustee-Manger of Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) is pleased to announce that it will invest an estimated INR 12 billion (S$216.6 million[1]) to develop and operate phase one of its first data centre campus on a prime site in India. It will be one of the largest data centre campuses in Airoli, a growing data centre hub in Navi Mumbai. The 6.6-acre greenfield site will be developed in phases into a fully-fitted data centre campus with a total potential built-up area of up to 575,000 square feet (sqft) and 90 megawatts (MW) of power to host customers such as global technology giants and cloud service providers, as well as large domestic enterprise clients. The acquisition of the site from third-party vendors is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021. The data centre campus will comprise two buildings. In phase one, the first building, which is scheduled to be ready by 2Q 2024, will have a built-up area of about 325,000 sqft.

Mr Sanjeev Dasgupta, Chief Executive Officer of the Trustee-Manager of Ascendas India Trust, said: “Our entry into the data centre sector in India will diversify a-iTrust’s portfolio into an attractive and highly scalable asset class. India has the second fastest growing digital economy in the world[2]. The large market size combined with the increasing trends towards data localisation validates our market entry strategy. Developing our first data centre campus with support from our sponsor, CapitaLand, will allow us to leverage the CapitaLand Group’s data centre expertise and gives us complete control over the design and quality of the data centre. We look to improve our portfolio resilience through diversification into new economy asset classes such as data centres and life sciences. As we grow further, we will continue to be prudent in our capital management and nimble in seizing investment opportunities, to maximise unitholders’ returns.”

Demand for data centres in India is rising due to improving technology infrastructure and increasing adoption of new technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud and the Internet of Things. These factors are expected to result in an expansion of India’s total data centre capacity at a compound annual growth rate of 31% to 1,007 MW by 2023 [3].

Ms He Jihong, Chief Executive Officer, Data Centre, and Chief Corporate Strategy Officer, CapitaLand Group, said: “India’s rising data consumption and demand for quality solutions present a good opportunity for CapitaLand’s entry into the country’s burgeoning data centre market. We are acquiring the site for development of our first data centre in India following the recent acquisition of our first hyperscale data centre in China, one of the largest data centre markets in the world. We are stepping up our growth in data centres and accelerating expansion of the Group’s portfolio into new economy asset classes. With this new development in India, the Group’s investment in data centres this year has amounted to about S$1.7 billion. We will continue to build and leverage our expertise in data centre design, development and operations across the regions. We look forward to working with our capital and business partners to expand our data centre portfolio in our core markets.”

The data centre campus site which a-iTrust is acquiring is situated in a prime location along Thane-Belapur Road, easily accessible from Mumbai city via the Eastern Express Highway. Navi Mumbai has emerged as a preferred data centre location since it offers proximity to sea cable landing stations, larger land parcels with clear title, abundant and scalable power, developed infrastructure and seamless vendor neutral network connectivity. When it is fully developed, the data centre campus will have an overall capacity to host approximately 8,500 racks and operate at an efficient power usage effectiveness [4] of approximately 1.4. In line with CapitaLand’s 2030 Sustainability Master Plan, the data centre will adopt sustainable design principles and green building standards. These include features such as intelligent energy management systems, solar panels, and waterless cooling systems.

Effect on portfolio
As a result of a-iTrust’s acquisition and development of the phase one of the data centre campus, the Trust’s portfolio size (including pipeline projects) will increase by 1.2% from approximately 24.9 million sqft to 25.2 million sqft.

[1] Exchange rate of SGD 1 to INR 55.0.
[2] McKinsey Global Institute: Digital India -Technology to transform a connected nation.
[3] JLL: 2020 India Data Center Market Update (May 2021).
[4] Power usage effectiveness is the metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data centre. It is the ratio of energy the data centre uses to the energy delivered to its computing equipment.