Quantum Switch Tamasuk (QST) plans to launch 6 new 50MW facilities to be located in Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah and Neom by 2026.
QST, which specialises in the design, build, financing and operations of cutting-edge, carrier-neutral data centers, is a majority Saudi Arabian-owned business. Tamasuk is a Saudi diversified infrastructure developer and investor, headquartered in Riyadh and invested across clean energy, utilities, social, transportation and digital infrastructure.
QST is part-owned by Quantum Switch. Tamasuk and Quantum Switch formed QST in 2020 to pursue data center development and investment in the GCC and have successfully signed two inaugural data centers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with major global clients. Tamasuk is fully owned by the Al Blagha Group of KSA.
The company said that the first two facilities already underway and QST will support the Government’s digital infrastructure initiatives and Saudi-owned digital start ups. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister of MCIT, Bassam Al Bassam commenting on the contract, said:
“We thank QST that came to the table with the perfect mix for us – global data center experience combined with local infrastructure development expertise, a real commitment to excellence and focus on sustainable investments. We are confident that these new data centers will accelerate our own green digitalisation plans in the Kingdom.”
Further, QST will enable creation of new high-skill, high-value jobs for Saudi nationals and renewable energy supplies developed to connect directly to data centers. QST already has significant investments in the Kingdom with two data center campus facilities already under construction.
Acceleration in DC Development
This agreement with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) accelerates data center development and operations in the country. Each new facility will represent significant and incremental data center capacity as the Kingdom positions itself as a leader in digitalisation across the region.
Tim Bawtree, co-founder and CEO of Quantum Switch said; “With expertise gained through the design, build and operations of over 4 million square feet of data centers, we understand the challenges and know how to find the right solutions to deliver this strategic project for the MCIT.”
QST’s data centers will be designed and built to meet the demands of hyperscale cloud service providers, international gaming and media platforms and global content delivery networks with a view to attracting them to locate their main regional hubs in the Kingdom. In addition, the data centers will host government digital infrastructure development initiatives, including the Saudi Internet Exchange Point scheme and be centers for co-location of Saudi Arabian government workloads.
It is expected that preferential rates for Saudi Arabian-owned start-ups will benefit from hosting and colocation services at the new sites – further stimulating innovation in the Kingdom’s digital economy. The design, build and operation of these new facilities will create demand for highly skilled workers at every level.
QST has committed to at least one third of these new roles being filled by Saudi Arabian nationals and will create dedicated training and skills development plans to ensure that the Kingdom will benefit directly from the new high-skill and high-value jobs created. Local contractors and suppliers will be used for construction wherever possible with QST leveraging its international supply-chains and talent when specific skills and expertise cannot be locally sourced.
Both parties (QST and MCIT) are committed to sustainable data centers and the new sites will feature the latest designs to minimise cooling requirements. In addition, MCIT will work with QST to develop and secure sources of renewable energy sources to further enhance sustainability. This effort will create a significant demand for new green energy – both parties are actively evaluating the feasibility of connecting solar PV facilities to the data centers.
Matthew Nathan, CEO of Tamasuk added; “We are committed to the QST – MCIT partnership, combining Tamasuk’s financial capacity and development expertise with Quantum’s undoubted technical knowledge and reputation with international hyperscalers to become the pre-eminent Saudi data center developer and operator.”