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Site visit: French economy minister Bruno Le Maire visits Equinix’s Paris date centre


froma year earlier, reaching $38bn. Between the end of 2015 and 2020, thenumber of large data centres operated by hyperscalers providers more than doubled to 597 globally.


Data centre decisions When deciding where to invest in new data centres,Mr Meyers high- lights that digital demand and con- nectivity take precedence. While a market’s gross domestic product is used as a proxy for economic oppor- tunity, “end-user demand is at the forefront of decision making”. Historically, data centres have


been concentrated in developed metro areas, with the Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin (FLAP-D) markets dominating in Europe. Real estate services firm JLL forecasts a 21%increase in new data centre capacity will be added to FLAP-D markets in 2021. Mr Meyers says that a significant


part of Equinix’s business still comes fromthe FLAPmarkets, and a simi- lar concentration plays out in the US, acrossmajormetros areas such asWashington DC, NewYork, Silicon Valley, Chicago and Dallas. But Mr Meyers says that there has


been amove towards a hub-and- spokemodel, with distributed digi- tal infrastructure being built around


the traditionally large data centre markets as demands have grown for broader connectivity.


Organic growth In June, Equinix announced it would extend an existing joint venture with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, to bring its xScale data centre portfolio to more than $6.9bn across 32 facilities globally. Mr Meyers explains that this part-


nership will enable Equinix to free up capital, with plans to invest more than $2bn into its colocation busi- ness every year until 2025. Equinix is currently exploring other expansion opportunities in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, as well as several south-east Asian markets. “We are very active and think


there are opportunities out there. Mergers and acquisitions is still a very relevant part of the toolkit, but organic colocation investment drives most of our expansion,” he adds. Equinix has been an active deal-


maker over the past 20 years, most notably buying data centre services giant Telecity for $3.8bn in 2016, which catapulted it to becoming Europe’s leading data centre pro- vider. It is currently finalising a deal to acquire the Indian operations of GPX Global,which has been stalled


August/September 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


by the pandemic, says Mr Meyers. But as data centres proliferate,


energy consumption continues to be a heated issue. In 2018, data centres globally consumed 205TWh, equiva- lent to roughly 1% of global electric- ity usage, according to a paper pub- lished in Science. MrMeyers says that environmen-


tal, social and governance (ESG) con- cerns “are a lot more than a fad”, stressing that Equinix is investing heavily toimprove its social and envi- ronmentalimpact. Equinix currently operates its data centres with90% renewable sources and has commit- ted to become carbon neutral by 2030. Mr Munroe notes that Equinix


has been very cognisant and proac- tive for years in improving its envi- ronmental footprint, both in terms of renewable energy sources and green data centre buildings. As digitalisation presents the


potential to create $100tn in eco- nomic value by 2025, according to theWorld Economic Forum, Mr Meyers hopes for Equinix to play its part in unlocking this potential. “As infrastructure continues to


distribute and interconnect to the broader digital ecosystem, our pur- pose is being a platformwhere the world comes together,” MrMeyers adds.■


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