Atiqah Mokhtar Published on Mon, Jul 05, 2021

The trustee-manager of Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has announced on July 5 that it will invest some INR12 billion ($216.6 million) to develop and operate phase one of its first data centre campus in India.

Located in Airoli, Navi Mumbai, the 6.6-acre greenfield site will be developed in phases into a data centre campus with two buildings with a total potential built-up area of 575,000 square feet and 90 megawatts of power.

The acquisition of the site from third-party vendors is expected to be completed by 3Q2021. 

Phase one of the project, comprising one building, will have a built-up area of about 325,000 square feet and is scheduled to be completed by 2Q2024.

As a result of a-iTrust’s acquisition and development of phase one of the data centre campus, the trust’s portfolio size (including pipeline projects) will increase by 1.2% from approximately 24.9 million square feet to 25.2 million square feet.

“Our entry into the data centre sector in India will diversify a-iTrust’s portfolio into an attractive and highly scalable asset class. India has the second fastest growing digital economy in the world. The large market size combined with the increasing trends towards data localisation validates our market entry strategy,” says Sanjeev Dasgupta, CEO of the trustee-manager.

“Developing our first data centre campus with support from our sponsor, CapitaLand, will allow us to leverage the CapitaLand Group’s data centre expertise and gives us complete control over the design and quality of the data centre,” he adds.

He Jihong, CEO,  data centre, and chief corporate strategy officer, CapitaLand Group, says: “India’s rising data consumption and demand for quality solutions present a good opportunity for CapitaLand’s entry into the country’s burgeoning data centre market. We are acquiring the site for development of our first data centre in India following the recent acquisition of our first hyperscale data centre in China, one of the largest data centre markets in the world.”

“We are stepping up our growth in data centres and accelerating expansion of the Group’s portfolio into new economy asset classes. With this new development in India, the Group’s investment in data centres this year has amounted to about S$1.7 billion. We will continue to build and leverage our expertise in data centre design, development and operations across the regions. We look forward to working with our capital and business partners to expand our data centre portfolio in our core markets,” He adds.

The data centre campus site which a-iTrust is acquiring is situated along Thane-Belapur Road, accessible from Mumbai city via the Eastern Express Highway. Navi Mumbai has emerged as a preferred data centre location since it offers proximity to sea cable landing stations, larger land parcels with clear title, abundant and scalable power, developed infrastructure and seamless vendor neutral network connectivity.

When it is fully developed, the data centre campus will have an overall capacity to host approximately 8,500 racks and operate at an efficient power usage effectiveness of approximately 1.4.  

In line with CapitaLand’s 2030 Sustainability Master Plan, the data centre will adopt sustainable design principles and green building standards. These include features such as intelligent energy management systems, solar panels, and waterless cooling systems. 

Units in a-iTrust closed up 3 cents or 2.13% higher at $1.44 on Jul 2.