DATA CENTER. A data center that will soon rise in Batangas. Santos Knight Frank (SKF) sees the Philippines as the next location for data center hubs in the region. (Photo courtesy of SKF)

MANILA – The Philippines can absorb demand for data centers as the region’s data center powerhouse Singapore becomes more selective on this kind of projects in the future.
In a briefing Wednesday, Santos-Knight Frank (SKF) Occupier Solutions and Services Manager for Data Centers lead Monica Gonzalez said the Philippines has available raw land to offer to investors as facilities with 10-megawatt (MW) capacity will require one to two hectares of land.
Gonzalez said the country is also an attractive market for data center providers, with the Philippines being one of the top social media users in the world and growth of its digital consumption, e-commerce, and cloud-based services.
“Data centers are looking for new locations for data center hubs here in Southeast Asia or the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region,” she said.
This, as Singapore imposed a moratorium for new data centers in 2019 with its sector consuming a “lot of land and power”. 
Early this year, its Ministry of Trade and Industry announced the lifting of the moratorium, but it will be “more selective” in accommodating new investments.
Singapore has 70 operational data centers with a total capacity of 1,000 MW as of last year.
“This has pushed the interest to other countries in Southeast Asia that can absorb that demand such as Malaysia, Thailand, and now the Philippines,” Gonzalez said. “So for all these reasons, Santos Knight Frank sees enormous potential in the country as a competitive, desirable data center location for international and regional investments.”
According to SKF data, the current capacity of data centers in the Philippines is at 94 MW, with some operators having a combined capacity of 125 MW interested to put up their facilities in the country.
Gonzalez said SKF’s outlook for the data center sector in the Philippines is that it will double its capacity in the medium term.
“However, power supply remains a challenge for the country and could be a “speed bump” for the industry, but (the) government’s support to renewable energy shall address this issue,” Gonzalez added. (PNA)