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Africa Data Centres starts expanding Nairobi to 15MW

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Cassava Technologies has started work on a new 15MW data centre in Nairobi.

The unit, to be operated by Cassava’s Africa Data Centres (ADC), is alongside an existing installation in the city.

Hardy Pemhiwa, group president and CEO of Cassava Technologies, said: “Our decision to increase our investment in our data centres in Kenya is in recognition of the position the country now occupies as a leader in the adoption of digital technologies in Africa.”

Cassava Technologies also owns sister group Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

This development is a step forward in the company’s expansion plans announced in 2021, which will see ADC investing $500 million into building hyperscale data centres across Africa, with the support of the US Development Finance Corporation.

ADC’s expansion at the new site, announced in December, will be completed in the first half of 2024 and will bring five times more capacity than is currently installed.

During the ground-breaking ceremony (pictured), Tesh Durvasula, CEO of ADC, said: “The expansion will enable clients to grow and scale depending on their requirements. They can start small, increase to a medium capacity, and even benefit from a hyperscale type of deployment in a few years if they choose to. This will enable customers to operate multiple deployments across our sites with a single operations team, campus and infrastructure they are familiar with.”

The new data centre will begin with 5MW of IT load and will be built using ADC’s modular design – an innovative approach that sees the entire facility, including all critical plant rooms, prefabricated off-site.

Durvasula said: “We do not use water in any of our cooling systems and are one of the few colocation providers who have taken this step. With the newest technology, if free-cooling capacity is maximised, it becomes far more efficient and saves water, which is becoming a critical commodity, particularly in Africa.”

Almost 70% of grid power in Kenya is from green energy sources, said Durvasula. “This helps us to meet our sustainability objectives because we understand no organisation can achieve zero carbon emissions by itself.”

He added: “We understand that sustainability is about ensuring that we conduct ourselves in a manner that minimises our impact on the environment.”