Our impact

Raxio data centres

Sustainable data centres in Africa, supporting the local economies and digital transformation in the region

 

Background

In March 2021, Meridiam partnered with Roha Africa to co-develop a platform of carrier-neutral, co-location data centres of international (Tier III) standard across Africa under the “Raxio” brand. The Project consists of the design, finance, construction and O&M of 10 sites (all modular data centres except for Uganda).

The project is developed in the context of the African economies leapfrogging and becoming increasingly digitalized thereby driving up the demand for the use of data centres, while available local capacity remains under-developed. The offerings cater the specific needs of financial services, telecoms, cloud service providers, corporates as well as government agencies.

The platform’s first site in Uganda opened in May 2021. The Ugandan site is located in Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) and will have a total IT load of 1.5 MW. The platform expects further data centres (c. 1.5MW each) to be built across at least six countries over the next few years.

Raxio has an up-to-date E&S Risk Assessment (based on IFC Performance Standards) in place and is currently working on putting in place all the relevant / required policies and frameworks to deal with ESG matters arising from all aspects of the project (civil works, drilling, and plant construction). The project maintains good relations with key local stakeholders.

To date, the Ugandan project has created more than 200 employment opportunities for local community members during the civil works and M&E kit out phases, with knowledge transfer of new technologies.
By building its network of data centres with a focus on environmental sustainability and with the objective of driving technological advancement in the region, Raxio delivers impact across a wide range of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most notably:

  • Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), as the project is using a fit-to-market, modular design to build an infrastructure critical to the digital transformation of Africa
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), as Raxio is expected to enable new opportunities for the digitisation of African economies, while providing high-skilled permanent jobs locally
  • Climate action (SDG 11). Raxio will be maximising energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, thus providing much-needed capacity while minimising carbon emissions

In particular, Raxio is paying close attention at maximising the energy, carbon and water efficiencies of its design:

  • Raxio’s data centres are designed with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3-1.35 which benchmarks well not only for Africa but also globally. Grid capacity is generally available in the locations of the first sites, where the vast majority of power production is coming from hydro.
  • With Meridiam support, Raxio will also start in developing a low-carbon development charter and associated process in coming months.
  • Raxio’s site design utilises an Indirect Adiabatic Cooling (IAC), a cooling method which is overall more environmentally friendly than CRAC systems found in many Data Centres (and most DCs in Africa) which use refrigerant gases and have a polluting effect. The locations being targeted typically benefit from unused ground water, which is unfit for consumption by humans and animals.

 

Stage:
Commercial Close

 

Essential

enabler for Africa's digitalization

10

Target to develop at least 10 data centres (15MW capacity) across Africa

Reduce latency,

optimize intra-African data traffic flows

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