Floating Data Centers to be Designed for Singapore

file photo of Singapore
file photo of Singapore

Published Apr 20, 2020 11:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

Keppel Data Centres Holding has signed separate MOUs with Toll Group and Royal Vopak to study the feasibility of developing a floating data center park and LNG-to-power infrastructure in Singapore.

Keppel Data Centres and Toll Group will explore the development of a near-shore floating data center park at the Loyang Offshore Supply Base, which is operated by Toll Group.

In addition, 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 for the data centers. The exploration of hydrogen infrastructure is part of Keppel Data Centres’ strategy to work towards the decarbonization of its operations.

With the growing global demand for data centers, the concept is for an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient way to meet the expanding needs of the digital economy. Data centers consume significant amounts of energy for cooling purposes, especially in the tropics. A floating data center uses seawater for cooling and is much more energy efficient than conventional land-based centers. It also avoids the use of potable or industrial water in cooling towers, which typically results in significant water loss through evaporation. In addition, floating data center parks free up valuable land for other urban uses, making it a particularly attractive proposition for land-scarce cities.

The park is envisaged to be the first-of-its-kind in Singapore. The inclusion of LNG and possibly hydrogen infrastructure will potentially allow the center to tap in on cold energy generated from LNG regasification to supplement the cooling load.

The center will feature a modular design which can be scaled up quickly according to demand. It is expected to be built as a “plug-and- play” facility built by Keppel O&M, and new floating data center modules could be readily deployed to replace older ones, which would be recycled.