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Digital Connexion, A JV Between Brookfield, Reliance and Digital Realty, Launches Its First Data Centre In Chennai

Spread across a 10-acre campus, MAA10 will cater up to 100 megawatt (MW) critical IT load capacity in the city

Digital Connexion, A JV Between Brookfield, Reliance and Digital Realty, Launches Its First Data Centre In Chennai

Prathik Desai

POSTED ON January 12, 2024 5:02 PM

Digital Connexion, a three-way joint venture (JV) between Brookfield Asset Management, Reliance Industries Limited and Digital Realty, on Friday, launched its first data centre campus that will cater up to 100 megawatt (MW) critical IT load capacity in Chennai. 
 
The MAA10 campus is spread over a 10-acre campus in Ambattur Industrial Estate of the state capital, India's second-densest subsea cable hub. 
 
In its first phase, the data centre will offer 20MW of IT load and allow its customers to scale their infrastructure across varying workloads ranging from single cabinet needs to multi-megawatt requirements. 
 
This announcement marks the entry of India's most valuable company—Reliance Industries—into the data centre business. It places its chairperson and managing director, Mukesh Ambani, competing alongside the likes of Adani and Airtel, who have established their stronghold in the industry over many years.  
 
In June 2023, Adani Group too raised $213 million through its data centre business AdaniConneX, a 50:50 joint venture between Adani Enterprises and EdgeConneX (ECX), to build a 50-megawatt data centre in Noida and a 17-MW first phase of a data centre in Chennai. 

Digital Connexion is looking to ride on the synergy brought in by its three partners. This includes Reliance Jio, which boasts India's largest telecom network with a widespread digital and connectivity ecosystem; Brookfield, a leading owner and operator of critical global infrastructure; and Digital Realty, a provider of the world's largest data centre platform enabling customers with access to over 50 metros across six continents. 
 
The JV's next data centre, BOM10, is expected to be spread across 2.1 acres in the Chandivali area of Mumbai with a load capacity of 40 MW and is likely to be open for early access in the fourth quarter of 2025. 
 
The companies are fighting for a share of the pie in India's competitive data centres market, which is witnessing booming demand from telecom operators and enterprise customers. 
 
Minister of Information Technology and Digital Services for Tamil Nadu, Dr Palanivel Thiagarajan, said, "I am delighted to observe Chennai's rapid emergence as a highly sought-after hub for data centres within the Indian landscape." 
 
The launch comes when Asia's third-largest economy is on the brink of a massive 5G-driven revolution, widespread digitisation, and rapid cloud adoption by businesses. 
 
India's data centre industry is expected to attract $5 billion by 2025 and grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent, as per a report by Avendus Capital. 
 
The Ambattur's MAA10 data centre launched by Digital Connexion is equipped to support emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models, the company said in a press note. The facility also offers standardised configurations and ultra-high-power densities (up to 70 kilowatts per rack) to meet the high-density power, suitable cooling infrastructure, and interconnectivity demands of AI workloads. 
 
"We are excited about launching our first data centre in Chennai," said Digital Connexion's Chief Executive Officer, CB Velayuthan. He added that the Ambattur campus was ideal, given the availability of the necessary power supply, the high number of submarine cable landing stations, and the state government's support. 
 
On January 7, while speaking at the Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, said that his group will be investing in renewable energy and green hydrogen and setting up a data centre in the state.  
 
In July last year, Reliance invested about Rs 378 crore to enter an existing joint venture, where Brookfield Infrastructure and Digital Realty were already partners. The three now own 33 per cent each in the project.

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