Keppel T&T invests US$10m in US start-up with patented water-cooling data centre technology

SINGAPORE - Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) said on Friday (Sept 15) its wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel Data Centres Pte Ltd, has invested US$10 million (S$13.5 million) in Nautilus Data Technologies Inc, a California-based company that created the world's first successful waterborne data centre.

Nautilus employs patented water-cooling technology in pre-fabricated facilities, which are more cost efficient and environmentally sustainable than traditional structures and can be rapidly deployed across the globe, said Keppel T&T.

It launched a waterborne data centre prototype in 2015 incorporating its technology on a vessel.

The US start-up is currently building its first commercial data centre at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Northern California, and deployment is scheduled for early 2018.

Mr Wong Wai Meng, CEO of Keppel Data Centres, said, "This strategic investment in Nautilus will allow Keppel Data Centres to benefit from the development of innovative and sustainable data centre technology that has great potential for broader commercial application."

Keppel T&T said the Nautilus design delivers multiple advantages over traditional air-cooled data centres, which typically require expensive cooling towers, water chillers, water treatment chemicals and refrigerants to cool the ambient air in server rooms. In contrast, Nautilus' water-cooled data centres employ less complex systems that can be deployed in half the time. Nautilus data centres are sited on vessels or on land near large water bodies, and use the naturally chilled water to cool the facilities, recirculating the water back to its original source with virtually zero water consumption, said Keppel T&T.

Mr Wong added, "Through this investment, we can also explore opportunities for collaboration and harnessing of synergies within the Keppel Group, for example, by tapping the group's capabilities and experience in the offshore and marine sector for the development of floating water-cooled data centres."

The investment is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel T&T for the current financial year.