Landmark partnership for 60MW of data centre capacity built every year for next five years – first two facilities already underway
8 February 2022, Riyadh. Quantum Switch Tamasuk (QST) is a Saudi company and a specialist company in the design, build, financing and operation of data centres has signed a key business principle agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (the Kingdom) to develop and operate new data centres with a total capacity of 300MW by 2026. QST already has significant investments in the Kingdom with two data centre campus facilities already under construction.
This agreement with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) accelerates data centre development and operations in the country. Each new facility will represent significant and incremental data centre capacity as the Kingdom positions itself as a leader in digitalisation across the region.
QST’s data centres will be designed and built to meet the demands of hyperscale cloud service providers, international gaming and media platforms and global content delivery networks with a view to attracting them to locate their main regional hubs in the Kingdom. In addition, the data centres will host government digital infrastructure development initiatives, including the Saudi Internet Exchange Point scheme and be centres for co-location of Saudi Arabian government workloads. It is expected that preferential rates for Saudi Arabian-owned start-ups will benefit from hosting and colocation services at the new sites – further stimulating innovation in the Kingdom’s digital economy.
The design, build and operation of these new facilities will create demand for highly skilled workers at every level. QST has committed to at least one third of these new roles being filled by Saudi Arabian nationals and will create dedicated training and skills development plans to ensure that the Kingdom will benefit directly from the new high-skill and high-value jobs created. Local contractors and suppliers will be used for construction wherever possible with QST leveraging its international supply-chains and talent when specific skills and expertise cannot be locally sourced.
Both parties (QST and MCIT) are committed to sustainable data centres and the new sites will feature the latest designs to minimise cooling requirements. In addition, MCIT will work with QST to develop and secure sources of renewable energy sources to further enhance sustainability. This effort will create a significant demand for new green energy – both parties are actively evaluating the feasibility of connecting solar PV facilities to the data centres.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister of MCIT, Bassam Al Bassam commenting on the contract, said; “we thank QST that came to the table with the perfect mix for us – global data centre experience combined with local infrastructure development expertise, a real commitment to excellence and focus on sustainable investments. We are confident that these new data centres will accelerate our own green digitalisation plans in the Kingdom.”
Tim Bawtree, co-founder and CEO of Quantum Switch said; “We are honoured to be awarded this contract by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With expertise gained through the design, build and operations of over 4 million square feet of data centres, we understand the challenges and know how to find the right solutions to deliver this strategic project for the MCIT.”
Matthew Nathan, CEO of Tamasuk added; “We are committed to the QST – MCIT partnership, combining Tamasuk’s financial capacity and development expertise with Quantum’s undoubted technical knowledge and reputation with international hyperscalers to become the pre-eminent Saudi data centre developer and operator.”
About Quantum Switch Tamasuk
Quantum Switch Tamasuk (QST) is a majority Saudi Arabian-owned business specialising in the design, build, financing and operations of cutting-edge, carrier-neutral data centres. QST is part-owned by Quantum Switch.
Tamasuk is a Saudi diversified infrastructure developer and investor, headquartered in Riyadh and invested across clean energy, utilities, social, transportation and digital infrastructure. Tamasuk and Quantum Switch formed QST in 2020 to pursue data centre development and investment in the GCC and have successfully signed two inaugural data centres in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with major global clients. Tamasuk is fully owned by the Al Blagha Group of KSA.
Quantum Switch, a global, privately held company, owned by its senior management, creates innovative investment, development and operational models to deliver world-class data centres in emerging markets. Its leadership has deep experience gained over almost 25 years of data centre development, including building and operating over 4 million square feet of facilities and securing $3.5 billion in investment. Quantum Switch works with local partners across Europe and the Middle East and Africa to design, deliver, finance and operate the next generation of data centres. It is passionate about renewable energy and challenging the industry to take up and seek real time renewable solutions.