Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) over the last five years, what is the annual number and capacity (MW) of new data centres approved for construction; (b) whether there has been any forms of moratorium imposed on the construction of new data centres; and (c) if so, what are the terms of such a moratorium and when was this announced.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing
1. Data Centres (DCs) are an important part of the digital economy as they store, process and disseminate data for many businesses and consumers. Global technology companies like Facebook, Alibaba and SEA that run regional business out of Singapore have data centres here to support their operations.
2. Singapore’s political stability and reliable infrastructure are conducive for operating DCs. However, DCs are intensive users of water and electricity. We will thus need to manage the DC ecosystem to ensure that it is environmentally sustainable, while supporting our business needs. We will strive for quality, not quantity – this means we seek to anchor a range of DCs that can meet both industry and society’s needs, are best in class in terms of resource efficiency, and that continuously innovate to push the boundaries of resource efficiency of DCs in a tropical climate.
3. In the last five years, 14 DCs with a total IT capacity of 768 MW were approved to be constructed on industrial State land. This was a rapid increase compared to the 12 DCs with a total IT capacity of 307 MW in the preceding five-year period. The Government therefore decided to moderate the growth of DCs with a temporary pause on the release of State land for DCs, as well as the development of DCs on existing State land. The Government informed the industry in 2019 and has been consulting them on ideas to enable their growth in a sustainable manner. The Government is concluding its review and will be sharing its plans with the industry later this year.