Teraco Data Environments, South Africa’s largest carrier-neutral data center provider, today announced that construction has commenced on a new hyperscale data center with 38 megawatts of critical power load. The facility is located in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa. The data center, known as JB4, is scheduled for completion in Q1 2022 and as a stand-alone building, will be the largest data center in Africa.

Teraco’s JB4 Data Center in South Africa

Overall, the JB4 data center comprises ~540k sqft of data center space and has 80 MW of utility power supply. Construction of JB4 will be done across two phases. Phase I includes eight 100k+ sqft halls, with a combined 19 MW of critical power load. Once complete, the JB4 facility will have sixteen 100k+ sqft halls, with a combined 38 MW of critical power load.

Teraco Data Center South Africa

JB4 grows Teraco’s data center platform to a critical power load capacity of 112 MW in South Africa. Teraco’s other facilities, all located in South Africa, include:

  • Isando Campus JB1/JB3 (39 MW)
  • Bredell JB2 (13 MW)
  • Rondebosch Cape Town CT1 (3 MW)
  • Brackenfell Cape Town CT2 (18 MW)
  • Durban (1MW)

The JB4 facility is Teraco’s seventh data center development in South Africa. Indeed, Teraco’s data centers already provide access to a wide choice of network service providers, peering at NAPAfrica, regional Internet exchange point (IXPs), content delivery networks and cloud provider on-ramps.

Teraco Data Center South Africa

South Africa’s Data Center Growth

Teraco’s JB4 is a significant addition to South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa’s data center footprint. The company is taking advantage of Africa’s significant growth, as hyperscale requirements continue to expand as a result of increased demand for cloud services in Africa. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud already have transit nodes in South Africa. Multi-megawatt hyperscale deployments, like JB4 will further accelerate this hyperscale growth.

South Africa is strategically located at the tip of the African continent and as a result, is positioned as a technology and data center hub for sub-Saharan Africa. IDC forecasts significant growth for cloud services in South Africa, of 30%+ year-over-year.

Africa’s growth will further benefit from growing subsea cables and terrestrial fiber connectivity to the rest of Africa. For example, a new $400m subsea cable, Equiano, which has backing from Google Cloud offers 120 Tbps of capacity and will land in Cape Town, South Africa in 2021. Subsea cables, such as Equiano, bring more network capacity and route diversity to the African continent, benefitting data center demand. In turn, further hyperscale data center facilities built by Teraco are able to support this demand through the gateway of South Africa.

Berkshire Partners – Teraco Investment

Boston-based Berkshire Partners is the controlling shareholder of Teraco Data Environments. Berkshire Partners acquired a majority stake in Teraco, in January 2019 from Permira Funds, at a valuation of $1.0bn. At the time, Teraco was generating ~$44.5m of EBITDA, meaning Berkshire Partners paid an EBITDA multiple of 22.5x for the business. Additionally, Permira remains as a meaningful minority investor in Teraco.

Mary Zhang covers Data Centers for Dgtl Infra, including Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX), Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), CyrusOne, CoreSite Realty, QTS Realty, Switch Inc, Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), Cyxtera (NASDAQ: CYXT), and many more. Within Data Centers, Mary focuses on the sub-sectors of hyperscale, enterprise / colocation, cloud service providers, and edge computing.

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