China's GDS launches Nusajaya Tech Park Data Center Campus in Johor, with eye on SEA

  • GDS makes debut in SEA with launch of inaugural Data Center Campus
  • New campus geared to meet surging digital demands in the age of AI

(L 2 R): Jimmy Yu, senior vice president of GDS; Dan Newman, CFO of GDS; Tengku Zafrul Aziz, minister of Investment, Trade and Industry; William Huang, chairman and CEO of GDS; Lee Ting Han, Johor State Investment, Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman; and Jamie Khoo, COO of GDS.

GDS, a leading China based developer and operator of high-performance data centers, celebrated the grand opening of its Nusajaya Tech Park Data Center Campus in Johor, Malaysia. The opening of the data centre marks the first step in GDS's commitment to invest up to US$981 million (RM4.5 billion) over the next 10 years in Johor said Teo Nie Ching, deputy minister of Communications and Digital in her speech.

[Ed note: Para updated with investment figure.] 

In a statement, the company announced that the campus, also referred to as GDS NTP Data Center Campus, represents GDS' inaugural data center launch in Southeast Asia.

It said Phase 1 of the campus (consisting of Nusajaya 1, 2, 3 data centers or NTP1, 2, 3) boasts a total net floor area of 22,500 sqm, along with a total IT power capacity of 69.5 MW. committed

The campus incorporates advanced green designs and is powered by GDS' most innovative Smart DC solution, enabling swift delivery within 14 months of NTP1's groundbreaking and ensuring high efficiency and low-carbon operations, it added.

William Huang, chairman and CEO of GDS said, “As the first and only data center player that has identified SIJORI region (comprising Singapore, Johor in Malaysia, and the Riau Islands Province in Indonesia) as a strategic location for data center deployment, GDS enjoys a significant first-mover advantage and possesses extensive industry know-how.”

He continued, "In our pursuit of synergies, we actively cultivate the ecosystem by attracting strategic partners and customers from the AI sector, as well as other high-tech industries. We firmly believe that our NTP data center campus will serve as a catalyst, propelling the region towards becoming a world-class AI computing hub."

 In the era of AI, the digitalisation journey in Southeast Asia is driving a surge in demand for robust digital infrastructure. In this instance, GDS said it has strategically positioned its data centers in key cities within the SIJORI region. 

By leveraging the competitive advantages of these locations, GDS is uniquely positioned to spearhead the digitalisation of the entire SIJORI region, catering to the growing digital demands of this AI-driven era, it added.

Tengku Zafrul Aziz, the Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry, highlighted the alignment between data center projects such as the GDS Nusajaya Tech Park Data Center Campus and Malaysia's upcoming New Industrial Master Plan 2030, which aims to cultivate a digitally vibrant nation.

"Beyond reinforcing Malaysia's growing prominence as a premier investment hub for data centers, these projects also pave the way for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to tap into expanded digital opportunities, fostering higher-paying, knowledge-based jobs." he added. 

“With Malaysia’s data centre market share projected to grow at roughly 16% or US$2.08 billion (RM9.5 billion) annually from 2021 to 2026, the country is well-poised to unlock the boundless potential that digital transformation offers. This will certainly uplift our rakyat and businesses, while underscoring our nation's commitment to digital innovation, sustainability and future economic growth,” Zafrul said.

Meanwhile, Lee Ting Han, Johor State Investment, Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman said following GDS' move, the state has witnessed an influx of leading tech giants to the Nusajaya Tech Park. 

“It is evident that Johor's exceptional geographic advantage has become an irresistible magnet for tech companies,” He expressed gratitude for GDS' contributions to the digital economy and commended the company’s willingness to collaboratively establish a business-friendly environment.

“We believe our joint efforts will continue to attract investment, spur innovation, and drive growth in the region,” he added.

Arham Abdul Rahman, CEO of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), lauded the launch of Nusajaya Tech Park Data Center by GDS. “Malaysia is the preferred location for industry leaders like GDS to site their best-in-class data centre and the firm’s commitment resonates well with our New Investment Policy to foster sustainable economic growth, create high-skilled job opportunities, and catalyse the nation's digital transformation journey.” 

He added that, “This project will create a vibrant ecosystem that encourages collaboration and the development of cutting-edge solutions.”

A recent report published by Cushman & Wakefield has identified Malaysia as one of the prime data center markets in Southeast Asia. With abundant resources and favorable government policies, the country is ripe for investment in data center infrastructure. 


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