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Singapore to be ‘more selective’ of data centre investments: minister

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore continues to welcome data centre investments but it intends to be “more selective” of such projects moving forward, said Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong on Tuesday.

“In particular, we seek to anchor data centres that are best in class in terms of resource efficiency, which can contribute towards Singapore’s economic and strategic objectives,” he said in a written reply to a Parliamentary question from Member of Parliament Louis Chua (WP-Sengkang). Singapore will also put in place measures to raise the efficiency of existing data centres over time, he added.

As of last year, the country has more than 70 operational data centres with a total IT capacity of about 1,000 megawatts. Data centres form the backbone of a booming digital economy around the world, but they are also huge energy hogs. Everything from the servers, storage equipment and cooling infrastructures have a large appetite for electricity and water.

Singapore has been mulling a more sustainable approach for the growth of data centres.
It embarked on a review of the industry in 2019 and imposed a “temporary pause” on the building of new data centres.

The minister said the review was necessary due to data centres being intensive users of resources.

“We had to find a way to manage the growth of data centres in a sustainable manner consistent with our climate change commitments,” he said.

He noted that this review was recently completed and authorities will engage the industry soon to share details and gather feedback.

Singapore has more than 70 operational data centres with a total IT capacity of about 1,000 megawatts as of last year. PHOTO: CNA
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