GDS Holdings Limited a leading developer and operator of high-performance data centers in China, today announced the first step in the expansion of its platform to South East Asia with plans to develop a hyperscale data center campus in Johor, Malaysia.
In line with this, the Nasdaq-listed company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire greenfield land in the Nusajaya Tech Park, Johor, immediately adjacent to Singapore, the company said in a statement.
According to the initial design, GDS Holdings intends to develop the site into a data center campus comprising a total net floor area of approximately 22,500 sqm, with 54 MW of total IT power capacity. The first phase of the development, with an IT power capacity of 18 MW, is expected to be completed in early 2024.
“We are very excited to take the first major step in the execution of our regionalization plan with this strategically located project in Johor,” said William Huang, GDS Chairman and CEO. “Our home market Chinese customers see great potential for digital transformation in Malaysia and the South East Asia region. They are strongly supportive of our development strategy.”
The Nusajaya site is ideally located to meet regional demand due to its close proximity both to the fast-growing city of Johor Bahru, as well as to the established data center hub in Singapore. Given the limited supply of new data center capacity in the area, it will be highly marketable to hyperscale customers, in particular to GDS’s existing Chinese customers seeking to expand their presence in Malaysia and Singapore.
“We are thrilled to welcome this investment from GDS and the data center expertise they bring to Johor,” said Dato’ Haji Hasni bin Mohammad, Chief Minister of Johor. “Their presence in the Nusajaya Tech Park is the perfect complement to our agenda to drive development in digital transformation and solidifying Johor’s strategic location as a hub for regional growth.”
Malaysia’s Digital Investment Office (DIO), a collaborative effort between Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) which is entrusted to spearhead digital investment in Malaysia, welcomes the investment by GDS to support Malaysia’s aspiration towards a digital economy hub.
Arham Abdul Rahman, CEO of MIDA, reiterated, “Malaysia is privileged to host GDS’s data centers in the country. The data center industry has been a key aspect in building the country’s digital economy, especially in new job creation and inspiring digital upskilling of the local workforce and businesses. Therefore, we are indeed supportive of having GDS embarked on this expansion journey that witnesses the Company’s commitment and confidence in Malaysia in line with the Government strategies to propel Malaysia’s progression to becoming a regional data center hub.”
Ms. Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC, added, “GDS’s presence in Malaysia will fortify our competitive advantage in attracting more data center investments and strengthen the data center ecosystem in line with the goals of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL). As a globally-recognised data center provider, GDS brings world-class capabilities that will further strengthen our digital infrastructure, promote digital transformation and accelerate Malaysia’s digital growth. We welcome GDS to Malaysia and look forward to building a long, mutually beneficial relationship.”
Malaysia has made its intent clear with regards to attracting data centre investments. As part of the Bersama Malaysia initiative, Microsoft will establish its first “data centre region”, with invrstments of US$1 billion in 5 years, which consists of multiple data centres in Malaysia to manage data from various countries, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said.