Actis will take a 75% stake in a new joint venture with GS E&C, the construction arm of GS Group, one of Korea’s largest conglomerates. The partners will build and operate a 21MW internet data centre (IDC) in Greater Seoul with a development cost of $315 million.
The IDC will be capable of hosting top tier cloud service providers (CSPs), allowing them to address a significant mismatch between supply and demand in Seoul. The city has 95% smartphone penetration, one of the highest in the world, and has seen mobile data traffic increase by 26 times since 2012.
The new eight-storey facility is GS E&C’s tenth data centre project. It will be built to Tier 3 standards, feature 1,600 high density racks for CSP clients, and a further 400 low density racks for co-location customers. The IDC will be located within the Pyeongchon Cluster, which boasts the highest concentration of CSPs in Seoul.
The investment is a continuation of Actis’ build-to-core strategy in Korea and expands its experience in the fast-growing digital infrastructure segment. The firm has created a Chinese data centre platform, Chayora Holdings, to develop hyperscale data centre facilities to serve China’s tier 1 markets. In early 2020, Actis also established a $250m pan-African data centre platform, starting with an investment in Rack Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.
Commenting on the joint venture Brian Chinappi, Head of Asia real estate at Actis, said: “Seoul has an insatiable appetite for data but is struggling to meet demand with fewer than five large scale non-owner occupied data centres currently available in the market. This investment, where land and grid power have been secured, in an area popular with CSPs, will directly help to address that challenge. We are pleased to be working with GS E&C, an experienced local contractor that has built 185MW of existing IDC capacity. Together this project will deliver another critical piece of digital infrastructure for Korea.”