Keppel Data Centres Holding Pte Ltd has signed separate MOUs with Toll Group and Royal Vopak respectively to study the feasibility of developing a Floating Data Centre Park (FDCP) and LNG-to-power infrastructure in Singapore, according to an online statement from Vopak. 

It said: “Keppel Data Centres and Toll Group will explore the development of a near-shore FDCP at the Loyang Offshore Supply Base, which is operated by Toll Group.”

Furthermore, the statement also said that Keppel Data Centres, together with Royal Vopak, will conduct a feasibility study and assess the commercial viability of establishing LNG and possibly hydrogen infrastructure for the power and cooling plants, which will form part of the FDCP development at Loyang Offshore Supply Base. 

The exploration of hydrogen infrastructure is part of Keppel Data Centres’ strategy to work towards the decarbonisation of its operations. The statement said: “With the growing global demand for data centres, Keppel Data Centres’ FDCP concept is an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient way to meet the expanding needs of the digital economy.” 

It said that data centres consume significant amounts of energy for cooling purposes, especially in the tropics. “A floating data centre utilises seawater for cooling and is much more energy efficient than conventional land-based data centres. It also avoids the use of potable or industrial water in cooling towers, which typically results in significant water loss through evaporation. In addition, FDCPs free up valuable land for other urban uses, making it a particularly attractive proposition for land-scarce cities.”

The FDCP is thought to be the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, and is designed to optimise energy usage by integrating LNG and possibly hydrogen infrastructure for onsite power generation. This would also eliminate reliance on the national grid. 

Furthermore, the adjacent LNG and possibly hydrogen infrastructure will potentially allow FDCPs to tap on cold energy generated from LNG regasification to supplement the cooling load.

Mr Wong Wai Meng, CEO of Keppel Data Centres, said: “We are pleased to have strong partners such as Toll Group and Royal Vopak join us in exploring the feasibility of establishing a FDCP and its adjacent infrastructure. We are also pleased to harness the diverse capabilities of the Keppel Group to explore the development of FDCPs as part of our suite of solutions for sustainable urbanisation. 

“We see great potential in FDCPs as a commercially viable and attractive innovation that conserves land, water and energy, compared to traditional land-based data centres.”

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23rd April 2020