Tech firm Sunevision set to launch city’s largest data centre

Tseung Kwan O facility to sharpen Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a regional data centre hub

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 December, 2016, 8:41pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 December, 2016, 10:23pm

Sunevision, the technology arm of developer Sun Hung Kai Properties, is set to open its advanced “Mega Plus” facility in Tseung Kwan O next year, which is expected to sharpen Hong Kong’s competitiveness with Singapore as a regional data centre hub.

“When in full capacity, it will be the largest data centre in Hong Kong,” Peter Yan King-shun, the chief executive of Sunevision, told the South China Morning Post on Thursday.

The company’s Mega Plus complex, with a gross data centre space of 470,000 square feet, represents the first site to be developed on a three-hectare plot of land dedicated by the Hong Kong government for building such facilities.

At the topping out ceremony on Thursday for the facility under construction on Wan Po Road, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, described data centres as “essential infrastructure for a knowledge-based economy”.

“With the robust growth in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and big data analytics, Hong Kong has seen strong demand for data centres in recent years,” Yang said.

Data centres are secure, temperature-controlled facilities built to house large-capacity servers and data storage systems, and equipped with multiple power sources and high-bandwidth internet connections.

SuneVision adds data centre to tap growth

These facilities are largely used to host cloud computing operations. Cloud services enable companies to buy, lease or sell software and other digital resources online, just like electricity from a power grid.

Yan declined to provide the total investment committed by Sunevision for its Mega Plus facility, which will have two multi-storey towers designed to house about 6,000 server racks for its customers.

He said Sunevision’s total investment would include the costs of the land, construction, and so-called mechanical and electrical equipment, such as generators and cooling systems.

Data from the Lands Department showed that Sunevision won a government tender in October 2013, paying HK$428 million to set up its advanced data centre facility on a 10,300 square metre site in Tseung Kwan O.

NTT Communications, the information technology services arm of Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, spent about HK$4 billion to build its data centre complex on leased land at the nearby Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate.

SuneVision data centre project stays on course

“Hong Kong is a prime location for setting up data centres in the Asia-Pacific region, thanks to our world-class information and communications technology infrastructure,” Yang said. “Currently, Hong Kong has nine submarine cable systems, 17 overland cable systems connecting the [city’s] four telecommunications operators in the mainland, plus the operation of 10 satellites for external communications.”

In addition, Yang said Facebook and Google have announced their plan to build a new submarine cable that will directly connect Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

While Hong Kong remains a desirable data centre location for Chinese enterprises due to its proximity to the mainland, Canadian consulting firm Structure Research saw Singapore becoming the preferred location in Asia for major information-technology services, infrastructure and outsourcing providers.

Jabez Tan, research director at Structure Research, said that advances in networking technology have enabled providers, including Amazon Web Services, “to achieve consistent performance serving China and the rest of Asia from primary deployments in Singapore”.

Sunevision expected its Mega Plus facility to support the requirements of major cloud services providers, financial institutions and telecommunications network operators. The company’s other data centres are located in Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Fotan and Chai Wan.