Vantage Data Centers, a hyperscale data center operator backed by lead investor DigitalBridge, today announced that it has entered into Africa by beginning construction of an 80-megawatt campus, known as JNB1, at Attacq’s Waterfall City in Johannesburg, South Africa, which totals a $1bn+ planned investment.

Notably, Johannesburg, South Africa is the largest data center market on the continent of Africa. Particularly, Johannesburg benefits from its location, IT ecosystem, fiber connectivity to the rest of Africa, and availability of renewable energy.

Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB1) – Vantage Data Centers

Vantage Data Centers’ JNB1 development is located in Johannesburg’s Waterfall City, a master planned business and data center cluster owned by South African real estate developer and operator Attacq Limited (JSE: ATT).

Waterfall City Master Plan Map
Click here for a larger version of this image.

Waterfall City is a mixed-use real estate and infrastructure development including retail, office, logistics, hotels, residential, and data centers. To-date, companies including BMW, PwC, Massbuild, Cotton On, and Cummins, have also decided to locate in Waterfall City. Below is the location of Vantage Data Centers’ specific site within Waterfall City:

Waterfall City Vantage Data Centers Map

Development

As the developer of Waterfall City, Attacq is working alongside Vantage Data Centers to build its multi-phase campus. To this end, Attacq notes that it has an “undivided share in the building of 50.0%”.

Vantage Data Centers Johannesburg South Africa JNB1 Development

Vantage Data Centers’ JNB1 will be a carrier-neutral, 80-megawatt campus consisting of three facilities across a 30-acre (1.3 million sqft) site. Of this total, 650k sqft (60.4k sqm) will be data center space once the campus is fully developed.

Phasing

Phase 1 of the campus, will comprise a two-story building with 16 megawatts of critical IT load, across 130k sqft (12.1k sqm) and is targeted for completion in the summer of 2022.

Vantage Data Centers Johannesburg South Africa JNB1 Facility

Subsequently, Vantage will build two additional two-story data centers which will each offer 32 megawatts of critical IT load across 260k sqft (24.2k sqm).

Power

Vantage Data Centers’ JNB1 is powered by ESKOM, a South African electric utility company. Overall, the campus will provide N+1 redundancy via a dedicated on-site, 100MVA HV substation.

Cooling

Vantage Data Centers’ JNB1 will be cooled using a closed-loop chilled water system generated through air-cooled chillers. Additionally, the company targets Water Utilization Efficiency (WUE) of near zero (liters/kW/hour).

Vantage Data Centers – Geographic Expansion

Vantage Data Centers’ development project in Johannesburg, South Africa marks the company’s entry into 16 markets and five continents. Specifically, the company now has operational capacity or is constructing facilities on the continents of North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Below are Vantage Data Centers’ locations by continent, which total 18 markets, once including the company’s pending acquisitions from PCCW:

  1. North America (6 markets overall): Ashburn, Virginia; Phoenix (Goodyear), Arizona; Quincy, Washington; Santa Clara, California; Montreal, Canada; Quebec City, Canada
  2. Europe (6 markets overall): Berlin, Germany; Frankfurt (Offenbach), Germany; Milan, Italy; Warsaw, Poland; Zurich, Switzerland; Cardiff, United Kingdom
  3. Asia (4 markets overall): Osaka, Japan; Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong, SAR; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  4. Africa (1 market overall): Johannesburg, South Africa
  5. Australia (1 market overall): Melbourne, Australia

South America – Up Next?

With Vantage Data Centers’ global expansion clear, the only major continent missing from the company’s portfolio is South America. Indeed, DigitalBridge, through its Digital Colony Partners I private equity fund, already owns a hyperscale data center developer and operator in the region, namely Scala Data Centers.

To this end, Scala Data Centers has an immense data center development pipeline, which if fully developed, would bring the company to 650+ megawatts of power capacity by 2023. Geographically, Scala’s data centers would span São Paulo, Brazil; Querétaro, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; and Bogotá, Colombia.

As DigitalBridge demonstrated in September 2021, the firm can use Vantage Data Centers as a vehicle to acquire portfolio companies of its private equity funds. Specifically, Vantage Data Centers recently acquired the Asia-focused Agile Data Centers (AgileDC), a portfolio company of Digital Colony Partners II.

Therefore, could Scala Data Centers be Vantage Data Centers’ next target? Dgtl Infra will keep you posted.

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