Singapore-based Ascendas India Trust, which develops IT and logistics parks in India, on Monday said it will invest an estimated Rs 1,200 crore to develop the first phase of its first data centre project in the country. The project is located at Airoli, a growing data centre hub in Navi Mumbai, according to a statement posted on the company’s website. Ascendas Property Fund Trustee Pte Ltd, the trustee-manager of Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust), said that “it will invest an estimated Rs 12 billion (Singapore dollar 216.6 million) to develop and operate phase one of its first data centre campus on a prime site in India”.
The 6.6-acre greenfield site will be developed in phases into a fully-fitted data centre campus with a total potential built-up area of up to 5,75,000 square feet and 90 megawatts (MW) of power. The company will target customers such as global technology giants and cloud service providers, as well as large domestic enterprise clients. The acquisition of the site from third-party vendors is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021, the statement said. The data centre campus will comprise two buildings. In phase one, the first building, which is scheduled to be ready by the second quarter of 2024, will have a built-up area of about 3,25,000 square feet.
When it is fully developed, the data centre campus will have an overall capacity to host approximately 8,500 racks. Sanjeev Dasgupta, Chief Executive Officer of the Trustee-Manager of Ascendas India Trust, said: Our entry into the data centre sector in India will diversify a-iTrust’s portfolio into an attractive and highly scalable asset class”. Stating that India has the second-fastest-growing digital economy in the world, he said the large market size combined with the increasing trends towards data localisation validates its market entry strategy. “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,” Dasgupta noted.
He said the company looks to improve its portfolio resilience through diversification into new economy asset classes such as data centres and life sciences.
a-iTrust said the demand for data centres in India is rising due to improving technology infrastructure and increasing adoption of new technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud and Internet of Things. India’s total data centre capacity is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31 per cent to 1,007 MW by 2023. He Jihong, Chief Executive Officer, Data Centre, and Chief Corporate Strategy Officer, CapitaLand Group, said: 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”.
The trust’s portfolio size (including pipeline projects) will increase from approximately 24.9 million sq ft to 25.2 million sq ft. a-iTrust was listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd in August 2007 as the first Indian property trust in Asia. Its objective is to own income-producing real estate used primarily as business space in India. As of December 31, 2020, a-iTrust’s asset under management stood at Singapore dollar 2.1 billion. a-iTrust’s portfolio comprises seven world-class IT business parks and one logistics park in India.