Going Green is the future for Data Centers in Africa- Group CEO, Jasper Lankhorst

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The Group Chief Executive Officer of the best-connected Tier III Carrier and Cloud neutral data centre in West Africa, Rack Centre, Jasper Lankhorst, has restated the company’s commitment to the green economy even as it has vowed to continually enhance its drive for sustainability in its operations. Lankhorst made this known at the just concluded 2022 AfricaCom/Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Speaking during the panel session themed “The Importance of Going Green” for the future of Data Centres in Africa. He explained that Rack Centre, part of the pan-African data centre platform, was undertaking a range of measures that are tailored toward green design principles, some of which include switching from diesel to gas power generation, implementing water-efficient cooling systems, implementing low-energy air circulation system and sourcing local materials and services wherever possible.

According to him, the organisation is switching its power source from diesel to gas, not only to save more than $10 million a year in operating costs but also to reduce carbon footprint, reduce environmental impact and align with global sustainability data centre design trend.

“As a result of these moves, Rack Centre is forecasted to be 35% more energy-efficient than other regional data centres, and 16% more energy-efficient than the global average. It will reduce water consumption by 41%, and there will be a 45% saving in embodied energy in materials used,” he said.

He further noted that, though customers are demanding a sustainable strategy for the business, hence, the choice of going green, though capital-intensive, should be sustainable. They must be as energy efficient as possible and use reliable, low-carbon sources of power to ensure uninterrupted operations, which is in line with the organisation’s prime aim to provide 100% uptime.

Other notable panelists at the session include Mustapha Louni, Senior Vice President, Uptime Institute; Nikki Blake, Business Development Manager for Bergvik; Kevin Kent, Director of Data Center Business Development, nZero; Dr. Angus Hay, Regional Executive, Africa Data Centres and Divyajeet Mahajan, Chief Executive Officer, Distributed Power Africa (DPA), Zimbabwe.

In addition to the existing Rack Centre LGS 1 data centre in Lagos, which supports 1.5MW of IT power, our campus is now being expanded with a new building, the LGS 2 facility which supports 12MW of IT power. This provides a total IT power of 13.5MW in the Nigeria campus, built using modern, efficient and green design architecture. We have a principle known as KIA – Keep In Africa, and it’s a philosophy we use in our design and the procurement process to make it sustainable with the availability of local knowledge and local skills to be able to build and operate it,” he added.

In June 2022, Rack Centre became the first International Finance Corporation (IFC) EDGE certified data centre in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is officially making this the first Green Certified Data Centre in Africa. It is the most connected facility in the region according to its PeeringDB ranking and links every country on Africa’s Atlantic coast.

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