Investors gear up to tap lucrative data centre services market
Investors are raising stakes to tap the lucrative data centre market with the latest entrant betting on Sh6 billion in a green data centre along Tana River in Masinga. According to the project’s founder David Murimi, they are currently seeking approval from Nema, Warma and other government agencies as they prepare to buy excess hydro power from Kengen.
The Masinga Data Center is being set up by US-based software solutions company Cloudoon Inc located in Delaware.It was founded by Kenyan entrepreneur Murimi who says this will be the largest data centre and the only green data centre in the country.
“The largest data centre currently is the East Africa Data Center with 1,000 racks. We are looking at 2,500 racks,” he said. Murimi said the project will be financed by investors such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and United States based Speed Data Centre among others.
Data centres are the new hot investments among the deep pocketed corporations with the latest investors being Mwalimu Sacco, Safaricom data centre to be located in Thika, Icolo data centre in Mombasa and Nairobi, Dimension data, MTN data center and Nairobi data center.
The new entrant says it will be targeting customers such as Bamburi, Kenya Power, Kenya Orient among others.
“The market for data centres in Kenya looks promising. It is expected to grow and there will be need for more data centres,” said Murimi.
He added: “The company will be employing 200 people directly including computer engineers, electrical engineers, telecommunication engineers among others.
The proposed data centre is to be constructed along the seven Forks Hydropower stations in Kenya. It will have a capacity of over 10 MW installed IT load.
“The data centre’s raised floor space measures 200,000 square foot. The facility has installation of over 2,500 racks and office space,” the company said in a statement.
It said it will buy one kilowatt hour at seven US cents after the government reviewed prices from four US cents last year. Data centre will be located within a secure of 10 acres campus, separate from the solar farm’s 50 acres campus.
“With this capacity and efficiency, it’s not only the largest green data center in Africa but also one of the greenest data centres in the World,” said the CEO. JKUAT is now officially onboard as the Research, Technology and Training Partner.
It is also banking to tap the Kenya Power fibre optic cables which terminate in Masinga to connect to its customers.
Nairobi is competing with Cape Town and Lagos for Africa’s booming data centre market which continues to attract heavy investment as internet usage continues to explode especially with the coming of the bandwidth heavy metaverse.
– John Otini