Africa Data Centers, a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group, announced that it has secured a piece of land adjacent to its existing data center in Nairobi, Kenya, and plans to expand the facility up to an extra 15 MW of IT load. The build will be completed in the first half of 2024 and will add five times more capacity than the current amount.
According to Hardy Pemhiwa, group president and CEO of Cassava Technologies, "Colocation has become the foundation of African digital transformation and will be for the foreseeable future. Our investment into expanding our data center operations in Kenya is in line with the increasing demand that we are experiencing due to the significant increase in the adoption of digital services in the East African region."
The new data center will begin with 5 MW of IT load and will be built in the company's leading-edge modular design. This innovative approach sees the entire facility, including all critical plant rooms, being prefabricated off-site to ensure the highest possible quality. Local contractors will be used to lay the foundations, assemble, and complete the build.
In terms of cooling, Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centers, said that the company has a strict policy that has banned the use of adiabatic systems. "We do not use water in any of our cooling systems and are one of the few colocation providers who have taken this step. Although many believe water and adiabatic systems are more efficient than air cooling systems, this is not the case. With the newest technology, if free-cooling capacity is maximized, it becomes far more efficient and saves water, which is becoming a scarce commodity," he added.
Additionally, the expansion will allow Africa Data Center clients to grow and scale depending on their requirements. They can start small, increase to a medium capacity, and even benefit from a hyperscale type of deployment in a few years if they choose to. "This is very reassuring for customers, as it brings a lot of synergies by enabling them to operate multiple deployments across Africa Data Centers sites with a single operations team and a campus and infrastructure, they are familiar with," said Durvasula.
Customers will also benefit from fast access to the cloud and managed services within the diverse ecosystem and increased external network options thanks to Africa Data Centers’ extensive connectivity partners. In addition, sustainability is top of mind for all initiatives undertaken by Africa Data Centers. Therefore, the company always tries to optimize the topology of its electrical infrastructure and selects the best and most efficient solutions to drive down its Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) and maximize energy efficiency.
Africa Data Center is fortunate in Kenya because nearly 70% of grid power is sourced from green energy. This helps the company meet its sustainability objectives because no company can achieve zero carbon emissions on its own. This latest announcement is a step forward in the company's expansion plans announced in 2021, which will see Africa Data Centers invest $500 million into building hyperscale data centers across the continent. Breaking ground for the expansion is an integral part of ADC’s Pan-African expansion plans, as Kenya is a crucial market in Africa and a gateway to the entire East Africa region.