Keppel Data Centres Holding announced in 2019 that it started to explore floating data center in Singapore. Now, the company shifted the next step by signing two agreements. One of the deals is with Toll Group to study the feasibility of developing a floating data center park (FDCP), the other with Royal Vopak is to explore the use of LNG-to-power infrastructure in Singapore.
A waterborne facility
Keppel’s interest in the concept of a floating data center has a long history. First, the company has invested US$10 million into waterborne data center startup Nautilus Data Technologies in 2017. Two years later, Keppel began to look for nearshore locations to build the floating data center. Keppel Data Centers has a presence of 37 years in Singapore.
According to a Keppel Data Centres spokesperson, the company is still looking for the most suitable technology for the waterborne facility. Nautilus’ technology is one of the options among other technologies. The FDCP’s new modules will be fabricated in controlled environments like the yards of Keppel Offshore & Marine and plugged into the floating structure.
Wong Wai Meng, the CEO of Keppel Data Centres, shared details about FDCP,
“Our FDCP concept will feature a modular design, which can be scaled up quickly according to customers’ demand. Fabrication of floating data centers can be done quickly and cost-effectively in controlled environments such as Keppel Offshore & Marine’s yards and deployed in a ‘plug-and-play’ manner.
This greatly reduces the construction-related carbon footprint of data centers, as well as the development costs and speed to market. Given the modular design, new floating data center modules can be readily developed and deployed to replace the older ones, while the older floating data center modules can be recycled for deployment in other locations, thus contributing to the circular economy.”
A floating data center park has many advantages including not to occupy space onshore in land-scarce Singapore, seawater for cooling. In addition to this, Keppel Data Centres has been developing another project to capture cold energy generated from the regasification of liquid natural gas (LNG) to cool data centers.
About 95 percent of Singapore’s electricity is generated with natural gas. Singapore is willing to become a regional hub for LNG trading.