Saturday, June 15, 2024

With dozens of data centers in the works, could Mexico be a new digital services hub?

Over the next five years, Mexico could see as many as 73 new data centers that would boost the local industry’s global status and address the growing need for digital services across the country, according to the Mexican Association of Data Centers (MEXDC).

The MEXDC said last week that over the next five years it expects investments of up to US $9.2 billion dollars in the sector, El Financiero newspaper reported.

Among the companies expected to participate in the new projects are Ascenty, DCD, Equinix, Layer9 Data Centers, Odata, Scala Data Centers and KIO, which opened its second data center in the state of Nuevo León in January and already operates in Querétaro as well. In February, Amazon Web Services announced a US $5 billion investment in the state of Querétaro.

“Mexico is increasingly attractive to the data center industry,” said MEXDC president Amet Novillo. “We have seen such tremendous growth recently that we have become one of Latin America’s primary technology hubs.”

The MEXDC also expressed the goal of transforming data centers into an essential, or mission critical, industry.

A data center is a building or a dedicated space used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup components and infrastructure for power supply, data communication connections, environmental controls such as air conditioning and fire suppression, as well as various security devices.

Computer servers
Mexico could have more than 200 data centers around the country within 5 years. (Taylor Vick/Unsplash)

Novillo told reporters that there are 166 such centers in Mexico, making it one of the top 10 data center hubs in the world. The industry has developed so quickly that the MEXDC has grown from seven to 75 members since being founded a year ago, newspaper El Economista reported.

The MEXDC is in contact with the Economy Ministry (SE), the Infrastructure and Communications Ministry (SICT), and the Federal Telecoms Institute (IFT) to ensure the government recognizes the essential nature of the data center industry to Mexico’s economy and grants it privileged access to electricity and water.

The existing data centers require about 305 megawatts per hour to operate, whereas the new data centers are likely to be significantly larger and thus require up to 400% more energy (up to 1,492 megawatts per hour, said Novillo) to function properly.

Novillo told reporters that in addition to the US $9.2 billion in investments forthcoming, indirect investment in the same five-year time period could reach US $30 billion. In addition, more than 68,000 people would be hired to build the 73 new data centers which would provide employment to more than 24,000 people by 2029.

He also estimated that the industry’s expected contribution to Mexico’s economy by 2029 could exceed US $75.5 billion, or 5.2% of GDP.

With reports from El Economista and El Financiero

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