Equinix’s US$160M Data Centre in Johannesburg


Equinix today announced plans to enter the South African market with a US$160 million data centre investment in Johannesburg that augments its current footprint on the African continent in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The new data centre is expected to open mid2024.  

With its South Africa expansion, Equinix is entering one of the largest and most digitally developed nations on the African continent.[1] Already a strategically important connectivity hub for digital networks, South Africa boasts a significant network of submarine communications cables. These strategic links between countries and continents are established at several points across the country’s 2,850 kilometres of coastline. 

“We entered the African continent earlier this year with the acquisition of MainOne, the leading West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider with presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire,” said Eugene Bergen, President, EMEA, Equinix. “This investment will give both South African businesses the opportunity to expand internationally and global businesses to expand into South Africa. Both will be able to accelerate their growth by rapidly scaling their infrastructure, easily adopting hybrid multicloud architectures and interconnecting with business partners through the Platform Equinix ecosystem of more than 10,000 customers.” 

At Equinix, we seek to be good stewards of the environment and of the resources we consume. We design, build and operate sustainable data centres planned holistically to reduce our consumption of all resources and maximise efficiency. We were the first company in the data centre industry to set a science-based emission reduction target and commit to become climate neutral globally by 2030, aligned to the Paris Accord 1.5-degree scenario. We have a long-term goal of sourcing 100% clean and renewable energy for our global platform. Equinix’s renewable energy coverage in 2021 was 95% and has been over 90% since 2018.

Equinix is seeking out sustainable and reliable sources of energy for this new data centre as is customary when we enter a new market. While the exploration for sustainable and reliable sources of energy continues, this new facility is expected to feature many unique sustainable attributes including hyper-efficient cooling with outside air economisation using minimal water, allowing us to limit our carbon footprint and maintain energy efficient operations with industry leading PUEs.

The announcement is the latest in a series of strategic and significant market entries for the world’s digital infrastructure company. Following the acquisition of MainOne in April 2022, Equinix has announced two expansions into ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) following the recently announced plans to expand into Indonesia and Malaysia.  Prior to this, the company also announced growth in the South American market with its acquisition of five Entel data centres to accelerate digital transformation opportunities for local businesses and multinational companies in Peru and Chile. The company has also continued to invest in organic expansion with 46 major builds underway in 31 markets. 

Highlights / Key Facts 

  • Equinix plans to expand into South Africa with a US$160 million data centre investment in Johannesburg, expected to open mid-2024.
  • The new 4.0 MW data centre, JN1, will provide 690+ cabinets and more than 20,000 gross square feet of colocation space.
  • Two additional phases of development are planned. The fully completed 20.0 MW premium retail campus will provide 3,450+ cabinets and more than 100,000 gross square feet of colocation space.
  • In 2022, Equinix announced its acquisition of MainOne, its first step into Africa. 
  • The current Platform Equinix® footprint spans six continents, 32 countries, 70+ markets, and over 245 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) and xScale® data centres, providing digital infrastructure for more than 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies. 
  • Each year, Equinix has continued to expand its overall portfolio as the world’s digital infrastructure company with ongoing strategic growth investments—over US$2.7 billion in capital expenditures in 2021 alone. 
  • Arizton reports that South Africa is the top data centre market in Africa and will witness investments of US$3,228.3 million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 11.15% during 2022–2027.
  • As indicated in the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2023, organisations are connecting to three times as many business ecosystem partners and metros, consuming more than twice the amount of interconnection bandwidth on average in the past five quarters than in the previous five years. Organisations need access to ecosystems comprising network companies, cloud and system integrator companies, and enterprise customers who can take advantage of a full platform service across a global footprint.
  • According to Statista.com as of 2022, the share of the total population of South Africa using the internet was nearly 80%. This share is expected to grow up to an estimated 90% by 2027, meaning it has some of the highest penetration of mobile and internet users in Africa. This predicted rise would represent an increase of 28% compared to 2018 when the share of the population accessing the internet in the country was only 62%.

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