Microsoft and G42 to Build $1B Geothermal Data Centre in Kenya

Microsoft Corp. and G42, a renowned AI business in the UAE, are working to build a $1 billion geothermal-powered data center in Kenya.

Bloomberg reports that this project is the first phase of a long-term attempt to increase cloud computing capacity in East Africa.

G42 will lead the first investment and oversee the facility’s construction in Olkaria, which has abundant geothermal resources. This is especially useful in a region plagued by power shortages, and it promotes Microsoft’s environment aims.

The first phase of the project will have a capacity of 100 megawatts and is scheduled to be operational within two years.

On Friday, Microsoft, G42, and Kenyan officials will sign a letter of intent drafted with the support of the US and UAE governments.

According to Microsoft President Brad Smith, who has been visiting Kenya for nearly 15 years and where the company employs 500 software developers, this is the country’s most significant step toward increasing digital technology access.

“This demonstrates what G42 and Microsoft can achieve together that neither of us could do individually. I believe it demonstrates what the United States and the United Arab Emirates can do together to introduce technology to new countries, particularly in Africa.”

According to Peng Xiao, Chief Executive Officer of G42, the entire project will require up to one gigawatt of grid electricity. The companies did not say how long it would take to complete the project or the final cost.

In April, Microsoft agreed to spend $1.5 billion in G42, a transaction brokered by the Biden administration to limit Chinese access to AI technologies. As part of the agreement, G42 agreed to end its business links with Chinese companies, including Huawei, and instead utilize US technology.

G42’s expansion into Kenya is part of the UAE’s plan to increase its geopolitical influence in Africa. Over the last two years, the oil-rich country has pledged to invest over $100 billion in the continent.

Leave a Reply