YTL Group, a conglomerate headquartered in Malaysia, is venturing into the data centre industry with an ambitious project in Kulai, Johor. The company is creating a solar-powered data centre park covering a massive 664 hectares, situated alongside existing economic engines like palm oil and rubber plantations. This facility, called the YTL Green Data Centre Park, is expected to have a capacity of up to 500MW, powered in part by a solar farm on an adjoining plot. The first phase, projected to provide up to 72MW, is set to be operational by early 2024.
The YTL Group’s chairman, Francis Yeoh, sees data centres as a crucial business for the company’s future growth. YTL’s focus on sustainability and green energy aligns with the growing trend of data centres being powered by renewable sources. Yeoh emphasises the importance of coupling data centres with green energy, considering the increasing demand for environmentally responsible practises in the industry.
This endeavour is part of a broader trend in the Southeast Asian data centre market. Malaysia, in particular, has attracted significant investment due to its government-backed initiatives, ample space, and growing demand from cloud service giants. YTL aims to tap into this market, leveraging its existing presence in various industries and its understanding of the local landscape.
YTL has already secured partnerships with key players like Sea Ltd. and GDS Holdings for its Johor data centre project. While the data centre venture represents a diversification for YTL, which traditionally focuses on utilities, cement, and construction, the company’s commitment to sustainability and well-established reputation may position it for success in this evolving industry.