Abu Dhabi's G42 teams up with EcoCloud to develop green data centre in Kenya

Powered by geothermal energy, the project is expected to have an initial capacity of 100MW

Kenya's capital, Nairobi. A new green data centre in Kenya is expected to boost technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Alamy
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G42, the Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing firm, has teamed up with Kenyan technology company EcoCloud to develop a green data centre in the East African country.

Powered by geothermal energy – clean power made using heat from the earth's crust – the centre is expected to have an initial capacity of 100-megawatt.

It has the potential to build up to a gigawatt, the companies said on Friday.

The project aims to reduce fossil fuel dependence and cut carbon emissions, they added.

Geothermal technology has a potential of more than 10GW in Kenya, figures compiled by KenGen, which generates most of the country's electricity, show.

Amos Siwoi, chief executive of EcoCloud, and Peng Xiao, group chief executive of G42, signed the agreement in the presence of Kenyan President William Ruto.

The data centre is a “milestone towards realising Kenya's potential as a global digital hub and fulfilling our mission of making intelligence accessible to everyone, everywhere”, Mr Xiao said.

The initiative intends to unlock new economic opportunities, stimulate innovation and drive the digital economy forward, making Kenya the centre of technological innovation in Africa.

Demand for data centres across Africa is expected to surpass supply by 300 per cent in the coming years, according to African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM).

A rapid increase in capacity is needed to support the growth potential of the continent’s digital economy.

Despite significant investments from global players, with a market experiencing an annual compound growth rate of 12 per cent, ample opportunities remain across Africa to develop and expand data centre capacity, AIIM, which manages private equity infrastructure funds, said in one of its reports.

The latest eco-friendly data centre in Kenya is expected to boost businesses and propel technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

“This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our commitment to sustainability and innovation,” Mr Siwoi said.

“By harnessing the power of geothermal energy, we are not only meeting the region's data needs but also setting a new standard for eco-friendly infrastructure.”

The UAE is leading the region in adopting the latest technology and implementing digital transformation strategies. Dubai is home to one of the world’s largest solar-powered data centres in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world.

Updated: March 08, 2024, 4:28 PM