'Land supply locked in Chennai for unplanned data centre explosion'

In terms of IT capacity (nearly 1,015 MW), over 69 per cent of this planned new supply will come up in Mumbai and Chennai, with 51 per cent in Mumbai alone.
Representative Image
Representative Image

CHENNAI: India is at the cusp of a data centre revolution. Once a small, fragmented industry, colocation data centres are fast transitioning into a large, potentially consolidated industry. Buoyed by the growing demand, over 45 data centres spanning 13 Mn sqft and 1,015 MW of IT capacity are planned to come up in India by 2025-end, reveals ANAROCK-Binswanger report ‘Under the Lens: India’s Data Centre Explosion.’

In terms of IT capacity (nearly 1,015 MW), over 69 per cent of this planned new supply will come up in Mumbai and Chennai, with 51 per cent in Mumbai alone. Currently, there are 138 DCs across India spanning 11 Mn sqft and having 737 MW of IT capacity (building ready). At least 57 per cent of this current IT capacity is in Mumbai and Chennai collectively.

With the addition of this new planned supply by 2025-end India will be hosting 183 DCs with 24 Mn sqft and at least 1,752 MW of total IT capacity.

Devi Shankar, president - Industrial & Logistics and Data Centres, Anarock Capital, says, “The current size of the India data centre industry is approximately $5.6 bn and is bound to grow. The unprecedented crisis created by the COVID-19 outbreak has propelled the data centre business forward, providing an unexpected tailwind. Technology adoption and digitisation across the sectors were fast-tracked globally and India also leap-frogged at least a decade in the last couple of years. The country’s total estimated data centre demand is expected to be 2,100 MW as of FY 2025, with a mix between hyperscalers and enterprises – 35:65 (excluding self-owned hyperscaler capacity).”

Meanwhile, there is additional potential of nearly 2,688 MW of future unplanned supply in India. Land for this supply has been locked in by DC operators, but the projects will likely be planned based on actual demand and/or outcome of earlier planned phases. While this represents land banking for providing scalability for future expansion to customers, this capacity must be judiciously released into the market to ensure price stability. Around 78 per cent of this unplanned IT capacity is to be concentrated in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Jeff Binswanger, Managing Partner, Binswanger, says, “Companies are really starting to relook where they are putting their operations globally, where they would like to relocate and where do they want to manufacture, distribute and set up their database and technology facilities.”

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