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Vantage Data Centers breaks ground on $1bn Africa expansion

This is the operator’s fifth continent as the brand continues its $1.5 billion expansion in Asia, $2 billion buildouts in Europe and further capital expenditure in the Americas.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

October 13, 2021 | 1:28 PM BST

Vantage Data Centers breaks ground on $1bn Africa expansion

Artistic render of the future Vantage Data Centers Johannesburg facility due to come online in the summer of 2022. Source: Vantage

Colorado-based Vantage Data Centers has broken ground on its first African campus in Johannesburg, South Africa, with an investment of US$1 billion from existing financial partners.

The 80MW campus will be based in Johannesburg’s Waterfall City and marks Vantage’s entry into its fifth continent.

From its initial US roots, Vantage, part of the DigitalBridge (NYSE: DBRG) digital infrastructure portfolio, previously expanded to two Canadian markets in early 2019, to six European markets in 2020 and to five markets in Asia Pacific in 2021. The company is today present in 16 markets.

Artistic render of the future Vantage Data Centers Johannesburg facility due to come online in the summer of 2022. Source: Vantage

Sureel Choksi, president and CEO, Vantage Data Centers, said: “Vantage has seen strong demand from our customers for high quality, hyperscale data centre facilities across the globe, and we are excited to meet this demand by expanding to Africa’s largest market.

“With our global expansion over the last two and half years, we have become one of the fastest growing hyperscale data centre providers in the world.”

The carrier-neutral Johannesburg campus will consist of three facilities across 30 acres (12 hectares) with 650,000 square feet (60,000 square meters) of data centre space once fully developed.

The first phase of the campus, slated for completion in the summer of 2022, will include a 16MW building. 

Antoine Boniface, president, Vantage EMEA, said: “Johannesburg is the data centre hub for sub-Saharan Africa due to its strategic location, IT ecosystem, fibre connectivity to the rest of Africa and the availability of renewable energy.

“We look forward to not only opening the doors of our first African facility to our customers, but also to becoming part of the local community. Our first campus has a planned investment of more than $ 1 billion, and it will create hundreds of jobs to positively impact the local economy.”

Vantage’s data centre development comes at a time when South Africa is under intense investor attention with several multi-million Dollar projects opened in the last 10 months or currently under construction.

The most recent is Berkshire Partners’ Teraco’s 270,000 sq ft data centre in Brackenfell, Cape Town. Pan-African operator Africa Data Centres has also completed its Johannesburg data centre, based in its Midrand Campus, adding eight data halls with 97,000 sq ft of white space and 14.5MW of IT load.

Hyperscale cloud providers are also deploying in the country. Following Microsoft and AWS, Oracle has this week announced plans to open at least two cloud region also in Johannesburg.

According to Arizton, the South Africa data centre market size will witness investments of US$3071 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 15.17% during 2021-2026.

Analysts said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a strong market enabler for digital transformation initiatives across private as well as public sector enterprises in South Africa.

The data centre market in South Africa includes about seven unique third-party data centre service providers operating around 22 facilities.

In 2020, retail colocation dominated the market, accounting for over 80% of the market share.

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Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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