Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo. Picture: SUPPLIED

Africa’s largest data centre provider, Teraco, says it is building a new data centre in Cape Town as part of its R4bn investment in the region. 

Teraco, which is backed by investors such as American private equity firm Berkshire Partners and UK-based investment firm Permira, has seen an increase in companies wanting access to its centres to store and process large amounts of corporate data.

On Wednesday, Teraco confirmed the construction of Teraco Cape Town 2 (CT2), a new 30MW data centre facility. This follows its recent 60MW expansion announcement of its Johannesburg data centre campus in Isando and makes the Cape Town facility the second-largest on the continent, the company said.

Construction on the site commenced in early March and will continue in line with Covid-19 restrictions. The company expects to complete the project in the third quarter of 2021. The completed facility will be made up of 8,000m2 of usable floor space, doubling the existing data centre capacity in the Cape Town region.

Jan Hnizdo, CEO of Teraco told Business Day that the decision to build in Cape Town was made after considering a combination of factors.

“Teraco’s first data centre facility (CT1) was established in Cape Town some 11 years ago in Great Westerford,” he said. “We have had multiple expansions over the past 11 years, our most recent expansion is in the process of being completed, but once filled we won’t have the ability to further expand as we have maximised the power available to us in the building.”

The new facility is being built with longer term planning in mind to provide sufficient capacity for the medium to long term. “These facilities take close on two years to develop, so this is being built with 2022 and beyond in mind,” Hnizdo said.

Teraco has seen increased demand from enterprises with data centre facilities that have reached their end of life and need to be expanded, upgraded or made more resilient.

The company’s investment has been driven by the growth of cloud computing in the region with Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, resulting in increased demand from cloud providers, enterprises and sub-sea cable operators seeking to locate their data centre infrastructure at the intersection of the internet. 

Teraco currently provides connections for Amazon, Google and Microsoft through its centres. 

Increasing demand from “key content providers”, such as social media, search or streaming companies, has been another area of growth for the company.

Teraco is gearing up to cater for companies that wish to move some of their content nodes closer to end-users to allow for faster and more efficient distribution and a better overall user experience, said Hnizdo.