Keppel to explore LNG, hydrogen power for floating data centre park

An artist's impression of a floating data centre park.
An artist's impression of a floating data centre park.PHOTO: KEPPEL CORPORATION

Keppel Data Centres Holding (Keppel DC), City Gas and City-OG Gas Energy Services will explore using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen to power Keppel DC's floating data centre park in Singapore.

The park is in its exploration phase, the three parties said yesterday, the same day that they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the collaboration. They will jointly evaluate LNG procurement strategies and the energy transition to hydrogen in the longer term.

Also, the parties will look into harnessing cold energy for the floating data centre park and share expertise on steam methane reforming.

Keppel DC chief executive Wong Wai Meng said City Gas and City-OG are industry leaders in such technologies and will provide insights that will improve the design and envisaged operations at the park for optimal energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions.

Keppel DC is a 70-30 joint venture between two Keppel Corporation units - Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation and Keppel Land.

City Gas, which produces and retails piped town gas in Singapore, is wholly owned by Keppel Infrastructure Trust, whose sponsor is a Keppel Corp subsidiary.

Natural gas retailer City-OG, meanwhile, was established by City Gas and Japan's Osaka Gas.

Keppel DC and Toll Group signed an MOU in April to study the feasibility of developing the near-shore floating data centre park at the latter's Loyang Offshore Supply Base.

The three parties said yesterday: "In line with Keppel's Vision 2030, which places sustainability at the heart of its strategy, this collaboration is part of a groupwide effort to study ways to create more energy-efficient and greener data centre solutions, so that the burgeoning needs of the digital economy can be met in a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly manner."

Keppel DC's Mr Wong also noted that the group is exploring the development of the floating data centre park, LNG and hydrogen-powered data centres, as well as technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration.

City Gas CEO Perry Ong said the firm is "constantly exploring ways to further lower carbon emissions".

"We're already using natural gas in the town-gas manufacturing process, with a longer-term view of using hydrogen to minimise environmental impact. We are thus eager to expand our green efforts in the data centre sector with this MOU."

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2020, with the headline 'Keppel to explore LNG, hydrogen power for floating data centre park'. Print Edition | Subscribe