Digital Edge Maps Out Path to New Data Center Markets in India and Thailand

Digital Edge plans to increase its portfolio from 210 megawatts to 500 megawatts in the next five years—with Asia’s third-largest economy playing a significant role

According to Samuel Lee, Digital Edge chief executive officer, in an interview, India is one of the largest IT markets in the world, thus they must take that market into consideration while discussing Asia. Because there are many competitors and a large population, the market for data centers is very large. Additionally, because it is a large nation, internet infrastructure typically grows along with the population.

In addition to being supported by US private equity firm Stonepeak, Digital Edge is looking to establish a foothold in Thailand as part of its most recent development plans in Southeast Asia. This comes after it launched projects in the Philippines and Indonesia last year.

Since entering the Indonesian market in 2021 by acquiring a majority stake in PT Indointernet Tbk, Lees claims that Digital Edge has seen significant demand from Chinese and American cloud providers, with Bangkok emerging as its next Southeast Asian location due to its significance to these tech giants.

Moreover, Lee sees huge opportunity in underserved, tech-savvy markets like the Philippines in Southeast Asia. The company entered the Manila market last year with a plan to build a 10 megawatt server center outside of the capital, and Lee is now teasing the possibility of a second project there.

Although Lee declined to provide more information about the company’s foray into India, Digital Edge will be joining other Singapore-based companies as well as private equity giants like Blackstone in the country’s data center market with its entry.

The launch of Lumina CloudInfra, Blackstone’s first completely owned data center platform in Asia, was announced last week. The regional project is expected to offer about 600 megawatts across locations including Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Noida.

Also, Princeton Digital Group began building a 48-megawatt campus in Mumbai this year, while Ascendas India Trust, a company listed on the Singapore Exchange, entered the market by investing $162 million to create its first data center there in the middle of 2021.

In the last 12 months, Digital Edge, which Stonepeak founded in collaboration with a group of industry veterans in September 2020, has added 191 megawatts to its portfolio and now has 15 operational facilities and development projects throughout mainland China, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and South Korea.

The most recent expansion for the business was its second project in Jakarta, which started construction in September and is expected to provide 23 megawatts of load by 2024. In addition, Digital Edge previously revealed a 120-megawatt campus project in South Korea in April.

After a period of record growth, rising interest rates have made it difficult for many industry players to launch new projects. According to Lee, Digital Edge’s backing from Stonepeak and a strong customer base in Japan, Korea, and Indonesia put the Singapore operator in a favorable position with regard to potential acquisitions of smaller players as the Asian data center market starts to consolidate.

“Companies with one asset in individual countries are being bought out… this is an interesting trend because it means there’s some opportunity for us as well to get into a new market, like acquiring an existing player that is at a very early stage,” said Lee.

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