With the moratorium on new builds ending on July 20, the Singapore’s data centre (DC) market is looking at innovative solutions, both technological as well as financial, in order to set new sustainability targets for the industry.
The Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) announced, on July 20, the launch of a pilot data centre – call for application exercise (DC-CFA) aimed at facilitating a calibrated and sustainable growth of data centres in Singapore.
Anticipating the DC-CFA, local data centre major, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), had earlier announced a sustainability-linked finance framework with key performance indicators (KPIs) and sustainability performance targets that the company would follow for issuing sustainability-linked financial instruments like bonds and loans to finance new builds both in Singapore and in the region.
STT GDC’s Group Chief Financial Officer, Nelson Lim, said: “STT GDC reaffirms its commitment to continuously improve its own sustainability performance and that of our Group of Companies with the establishment of this framework… With sustainability as a fundamental pillar of our business and a critical factor in our long-term value creation, we have established this framework to allow us to take the lead in sustainability financing”.
From the technology side, defence and engineering major ST Engineering announced that it had entered the DC cooling market with the launch of a new cooling system for data centres that is expected to result in 20 percent energy savings for tropical DC cooling, with investment payback in “less than three years”.
According to the company, the Airbitat DC Cooling System, combined with existing chiller systems, enables DCs to reach targeted power usage effectiveness (PUE) of below 1.3.
“This performance represents a significant improvement over current regulatory requirements for data centres in Singapore and positions it to meet more stringent standards for future data centre builds,” the company said in a statement.
The company added that the Airbitat DC cooling system works by pre-cooling the hot return air in the data hall to reduce over 40 percent of the heat load from the existing chiller system.
“This significantly reduces the overall energy requirements for cooling by more than 20 percent… Additionally, the Airbitat DC cooling system does not generate waste heat into the environment as it does not use energy-intensive compressors, or refrigerants and also has lower water consumption requirements compared to conventional water-cooled chiller,” the company said.
The DC-CFA is expected to enable more such initiatives in the industry with the EDB and IMDA saying that the exercise has been structured as a pilot, with flexibility for the industry to provide innovative proposals that can best meet our desired outcomes.
The two government entities said they would continue to partner with the industry for greener data centres to fulfil Singapore’s environmental obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement while supporting the needs of Singapore’s digital economy.