Keppel Eyes LNG-Powered Data Centers

Keppel Eyes LNG-Powered Data Centers
Keppel Data Centres has signed MOUs with Toll Group and Royal Vopak tied to developing floating data centers powered by LNG and possibly hydrogen.

Keppel Corp. reported Monday that its Keppel Data Centres Holding Pte Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Toll Group to explore developing a near-shore floating data center park (FDCP) at the Toll-operated Loyang Offshore Supply Base in Singapore.

In a related move, Keppel Data Centres has signed a separate MOU with Royal Vopak to study the feasibility and assess the commercial viability of using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and possibly hydrogen to run the FDCP’s power and cooling plants.

“We are pleased to have strong partners such as Toll Group and Royal Vopak join us in exploring the feasibility of establishing a FDCP and its adjacent infrastructure,” Keppel Data Centres CEO Wong Wai Meng remarked in a written statement email to Rigzone. “We are also pleased to harness the diverse capabilities of the Keppel Group to explore the development of FDCPs as part of our suite of solutions for sustainable urbanization. We see great potential in FDCPs as a commercially viable and attractive innovation that conserves land, water and energy, compared to traditional land-based data centers.”

Data centers consume demand significant energy volumes for cooling purposes, particularly in the tropics. Keppel Data Centres stated that its FDCP concept uses seawater for cooling and is much more energy-efficient than conventional land-based data centers. Moreover, the firm pointed out the floating facility avoids the use of potable or industrial water in cooling towers, which often lead to significant water loss through evaporation.

“Our collaboration with Keppel Data Centres will allow us to leverage our global expertise and experience to develop resilient and efficient LNG infrastructure for power generation to feed the data center development in Singapore,” commented Vopak LNG President Kees van Seventer. “The partnership will also enable us to study the technical and commercial viability of hydrogen and its required infrastructure for power generation. With our presence of 37 years in Singapore, we are committed to grow our footprint with sustainable infrastructure solutions.”

Keppel also stated its FDCP would be the first facility of its kind in Singapore and would not rely on the national power grid. Furthermore, the company noted the adjacent LNG and possible hydrogen infrastructure could allow the floating data centers to supplement their cooling load with cold energy from the LNG regasification process.

“Our FDCP concept will feature a modular design, which can be scaled up quickly according to customers’ demand,” noted Meng. “Fabrication of floating data centers can be done quickly and cost-effectively in controlled environments such as Keppel Offshore & Marine’s yards and deployed in a ‘plug-and-play’ manner. This greatly reduces the construction-related carbon footprint of data centers, as well as the development costs and speed to market.”

According to Keppel, the FDCP concept is particularly attractive for land-scarce cities and frees up land for other urban uses.

“We’re excited about partnering with Keppel Data Centres to explore a sustainable innovative solution for data center development,” noted Sam Eid, Toll Group’s executive vice president for global logistics. “Our primary focus for the base remains to support the oil, gas, industrial and marine industries. This initiative will allow Toll Group to take a significant role to improve space productivity and sustainability in Singapore whilst driving our primary focus.”

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