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Darwin data centre posed to be Australia’s digital gateway to Asia

Expansion by NEXTDC comes as data centre services revenues grew a whopping 23% or AU$45.3 million to $246.1 million during FY21.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

October 25, 2021 | 12:39 PM BST

Australia data centre provider NEXTDC Limited (ASX: NXT) has purchased a piece of land in Darwin for the construction of a new data centre facility (D1).

The operator said it will work in partnership with the Northern Territory Government to support its vision to establish the territory as “Northern Australia’s leading digital economy and Australia’s digital gateway to Asia”.

Telecom business Vocus (ASX: VOC) has been tasked with providing connectivity to D1 on its Terabit Territory fibre network, as well as being an anchor tenant in the facility.

D1 will also support Vocus’ in-progress fibre infrastructure deployments in Australia’s north, including the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable system and the Project Horizon fibre between Darwin and Perth via Port Hedland.

The parties said more information on this strategic partnership and future digital infrastructure development plans for Darwin will be announced next month.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, said: “We are excited to work with NEXTDC to build this world-class data centre in Darwin.

“We want to make the Territory a hub for digital industries and investment, and now we can look forward to building infrastructure that will create new jobs and opportunities, which will support local tradies.”

NEXTDC CEO, Craig Scroggie, said: “We are honoured to have been selected by the Northern Territory Government as its strategic partner to work together to continue to strengthen the Territory’s digital industry.

“This digital infrastructure development represents an important investment for the NT, that will further support and accelerate the growth of the northern digital gateway in Australia.”

NEXTDC announced its full-year results in August, posting growth in data centre services revenues of 23% or AU$45.3 million to $246.1 million.

Underlying EBITDA was up $29.9 million (29%) to $134.5 million while operating cash flow was up $79.5 million (148%) to $133.2 million.

Capital expenditure was down $116 million (18%) to $301 million whilst liquidity (cash and undrawn debt facilities) was $1.7 billion as of 30 June 2021.

During FY21, the operator added 5.5MW to its contracted utilisation, which at the end of the fiscal year stand at 75MW servicing 1,547 customers.

The company has recently also completed a data centre expansion in Sydney and broke ground on another facility in the city, with further expansion underway in Melbourne.

Scroggie said: “We are pleased to deliver on market expectations, with the Company’s FY21 results coming in ahead of the upgraded guidance provided at the time of NEXTDC’s 1H21 results in February.

“These results are a testament to the Company’s pursuit of excellence, against a more difficult economic backdrop due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

NEXTDC was founded by Australian businessman Bevan Slattery and has over the years raised over $200 million in capital and achieved a more than half a billion Dollar market capitalisation.

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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