Macquarie’s AirTrunk enters Malaysia with 150+MW hyperscale data centre in Johor Bahru

  • Claims that JHB1 will be the most sustainable data center in Malaysia
  • Will be financed under AirTrunk’s sustainability linked loan framework

An artist's impression of the Joho Bahru data center.

Australian-based Asia Pacific data center specialist AirTrunk last week announced its entry into Malaysia with plans to develop an Australian dollar multi-billion 150+ megawatt (MW) data centre. Named AirTrunk JHB1 (JHB1), the facility will be the company’s first in Malaysia and ninth in Asia Pacific, with four in Australia, bringing its data center platform to over 1.35 gigawatts (GW) of capacity.

AirTrunk is majority-owned by Australia’s Macquarie Group through its infrastructure arm, Macquarie Asset Management, which took an 88% stake in early 2020, valuing the data center operator at A$3 billion (US$2.1 billion).

The JHB1 campus will span 10.3 hectares in Johor Bahru, Johor. Serving a larger cloud availability zone for AirTrunk’s customers, the facility will also offer strong domestic and international connectivity to regional technology hubs, including Singapore, with an end-to-end cross-border connectivity strategy.

The initial phases of JHB1 will provide 50MW of capacity, with construction commencing shortly and due for completion in 2024. The data center is poised to scale out to a total capacity of more than 150MW with further expansion based on customer demand.

Driven by rapidly increasing cloud adoption in Southeast Asia, AirTrunk said JHB1 will be anchored by a tenant that is one of the world’s largest technology companies.

Macquarie's AirTrunk enters Malaysia with 150+MW hyperscale data center in Johor BahruAirTrunk Founder and CEO, Robin Khuda (picture) said: “It’s an exciting time for our company as we announce a new data center in a new country with a major anchor tenant. AirTrunk continues to develop critical digital infrastructure to support accelerating digitization in the region.”

JHB1 will be funded under AirTrunk’s sustainability linked loan framework and will include a range of sustainable innovations to ensure AirTrunk continues to deliver the most sustainable data centers in the region.

These include a breakthrough cooling solution that uses a combination of indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) and direct-to-chip liquid cooling technology. The liquid cooling technology will enable AirTrunk customers to install high-density racks, reducing energy consumption by up to 20%.

Macquarie's AirTrunk enters Malaysia with 150+MW hyperscale data center in Johor Bahru

In addition, the data center will have a solar-ready roof, equipped to add 5MW of solar panels. The facility is designed for AirTrunk’s industry-low power consumption efficiency of 1.15, and renewable energy supply options will be available to customers.

AirTrunk Chief Technology Officer, Damien Spillane asserts, “With its flexible designs and innovations that drive energy and water efficiency in tropical climates, JHB1 will be the most sustainable data center in Malaysia. In line with our Net Zero target by 2030, we work together with our customers to source renewable energy to match the electricity consumption in the data center.”

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