CDC Data Centres to accelerate expansion plans

Brandon How

The largest provider of data centre services to the federal government, CDC Data Centres, will accelerate development of data centres to meet growing demand for artificial intelligence.

The firm is estimated to currently operate 268MW worth data centre capacity across Australia and New Zealand, with an additional 265MW under construction. Out to 2028, there is a further 517MW of future build capacity under development.

New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company Infratil released the data to the ASX on Monday following an independent valuation of its holdings in the company, which has risen by $448 million in the six months to September 30.

Australia’s Future Fund owns just over 24 per cent of CDC, after the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation sold half of its shares to the sovereign wealth fund in 2020. Assuming both corporations held the same proportional stake in CDC over the six months to September 30, the value of their respective holdings have increased by about $224 million.

Infratil chief executive Jason Boyes said that CDC is well positioned to benefit from growing demand for AI services on account of its “data centre design, operating model, and customer base”.

“These market dynamics have seen a significant uptick in inbound customer interest. In response to this demand, CDC is expecting a significant acceleration of construction and expansion of development planning in all locations – Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland,’ Mr Boyes said.

Graphic of the proposed expansion of CDC’s Eastern Creek Campus in Sydney. Image: CDC

Of the capacity currently under construction, the most is being undertaken in Sydney at 147MW, with a further 56MW and 30MW under construction in Canberra and Auckland, respectively.

No CDC data centres currently operate in Melbourne, although 32MW worth of capacity is currently under construction. The firm is also planning 208MW worth of future build in the city, the largest of any future build capacity.

According to Infratil’s annual results announcement, for the year to March 31, 2023, the first CDC data centre in Melbourne will be complete in early 2024, while a 12MW expansion across CDC’s two Auckland data centres is expected to be complete in financial year 2025.

The announcement also stated that CDC held a “significant portfolio of undeveloped land” that could host more than 786MW worth of data centre capacity.

Of the remaining future build capacity to 2028, there is expected to be an additional 151MW developed in Sydney, 55MW developed in Canberra, 81MW in Auckland, and 22MW in unspecified ‘Australian Expansion’.

In December last year, CDC committed an additional $1 billion to expand its $1.5 billion data centre campus at Eastern Creek in Sydney.

CDC Data Centres has previously applied to the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) to withhold public release of its 2020-21 indirect Scope 2 emissions and energy consumption data through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme.

It’s claim that the release of the data would reveal trade secrets was rejected by the regulator, which has since published this data. While the application process was underway, which took 18 months to complete, the CER released CDC emissions data for 2021-22.

As of August last year, CDC had secured more than $1 billion worth of contracts with the federal government since 2007.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories