Johor data centers are being boosted by Singapore factors.Water and electricity remain bottlenecks

Malaysia is PDG’s sixth market after Singapore, China, Indonesia, India and Japan.

Asher Lin, chief technology officer and managing director of Singapore PDG, told CNA that the expansion into Johor is in line with the SG+ strategy. He cited “distance and connection” as factors that make Sedenak attractive.

He added: “The region is close to strong power and connectivity infrastructure, as well as high-growth technology markets such as Singapore, approximately 40 minutes away.”

Mr Lee Ting Han stressed that the southern state sees Singapore as a partner rather than a competitor in this regard.

The Johor state government wants to leverage the “complementary strengths” of both countries in areas such as the digital economy and data centres, and has called for the creation of a special economic zone by the first quarter of 2025.

Tackling water shortages and power outages

While there is optimism about Johor’s potential to become a data center hinterland for Singaporean companies, some experts say the industry is energy-intensive and requires a steady supply of large amounts of water and electricity. warns that it is necessary. Both modes of transport have been experiencing regular disruptions in Johor recently.

In April, parts of southern Johor reportedly experienced water shortages during Hari Raya, and the state government asked the state’s main water company, Langhir SAJ, to deploy water tanks in hotspot areas.

The water outage also affected residents, with some reportedly complaining of not having water for drinking or showering.

In 2019, more than 250,000 people across Johor, including Kulai, Kota Tinggi and Simpang Lengam, suffered from water shortages, and the state government implemented water rationing.

Power outages also occurred in parts of Johor state. In December 2023, the Malaysian checkpoint building leading to the Woodlands Causeway, known as the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (BSI CIQ), suffered a power outage for several hours.

These incidents are “certainly a concern” for Johor’s data center industry, but “not necessarily an insurmountable obstacle”, said NTU’s Dr Wen.

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