28 November 2023

Construction begins on $80 million data centre to strengthen Darwin's digital economy

| James Day
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A computer generated design of the NEXTDC data centre to be built in Darwin.

Situated at 2 Harvey Street, the data centre is within walking distance from the new Charles Darwin University CBD campus and will also be home to an innovation centre. Photo: Investment Territory.

As part of the Northern Territory’s Digital Action Plan, NEXTDC has begun work on its D1 Darwin data centre, the first of its kind in the region.

The $80 million critical infrastructure project will house around 1500 racks and support an IT load of 8 MW, and will be connected to the planned sub-sea and terrestrial cables securing the Territory’s access to South-east Asia.

The first stage of the project is expected to be operational by mid-2024, with the aim of connecting it to the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore Cable (DJSC) that was approved by the NT Government earlier this year.

The centre will help support Darwin’s public and private sector digital infrastructure, as well as provide secure connection and data storage to Australian and overseas customers through a partnership with specialist fibre and network solutions provider Vocus.

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Situated at 2 Harvey Street, the centre is within walking distance from the new Charles Darwin University CBD campus. It will also be home to an innovation centre with collaborative spaces for entrepreneurs, start-ups and growth companies to develop the NT’s tech industry.

NEXTDC’s CEO Craig Scroggie said the centre will mean the NT economy benefits from world-class digital infrastructure and secure, low-latency access to global cloud platforms to fully maximise the benefits of emerging technologies such as generative AI, automation and robotics.

“As our flagship data centre in NT, D1 Darwin forms part of NEXTDC’s strategy to leverage the next frontier of Edge computing and for the region, it is a big step towards national digital equity,” Mr Scroggie said.

“Its proximity to Darwin’s CBD and direct access to the major submarine cable infrastructure means legacy industries such as mining and resources, alongside the emerging defence sector, can have real-time responsiveness to operational and mission-critical needs, fully capturing the value of emerging technologies.”

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Kapitol Group NT is overseeing construction on the project, which is expected to create up to 200 jobs and contribute to the region’s $40 billion 2030 economic outlook from its Digital Territory Action Plan.

Carbon-neutral certified company NEXTDC bought the land and announced its intention to build the centre in October 2021, but already has centres in every other Australian capital city except Hobart.

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles said getting the build of D1 Darwin underway is an exciting step for the future of Northern Territory’s digital economy and will give many organisations in the region the opportunity to empower and activate their digital transformation strategies.

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