FKG Group's AU$40m datacentre opens in southeast Queensland

Backed by Telstra, Schneider Electric, and the Queensland government, Toowoomba's new Pulse Data Centre is open for business.

Construction firm FKG Group has announced the opening of its AU$40 million Tier III datacentre in the outskirts of Toowoomba, approximately 130 kilometres west of Brisbane, Queensland.

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The datacentre is situated on 30 hectares and has immediate access to land for future expansion, FKG Group executive chairman Gary Gardner said.

"The majority of the world's largest datacentres are located not in capital cities but in regional areas, which thanks to the latest technology can provide not only lower costs, but also scalability and access to national communications infrastructure," Gardner said.

"Together with our commitment to exploring opportunities for the development and production of our own power through clean and renewable energy sources, Pulse Data Centre is well positioned to become an extremely cost-competitive offering, attractive to businesses from around the world."

Pulse DC consists of three standalone datacentres linked by a central security facility. Each datacentre contains four separate data halls spanning 365m2 and will house approximately 180 racks per hall. Each hall is designed to support, as a base, 625kW of IT load.

Telstra and Schneider Electric have partnered with FKG for the new datacentre, with the telco helping with connectivity by way of its regional network. The partnership comes as Telstra makes a recent push to invest in regional Australia, and to provide jobs in construction and operation to local businesses and Indigenous communities.

Schneider Electric has brought its energy management and automation expertise to the datacentre project, in addition to its experience in datacentre solutions, the IoT, and industrial technologies, FKG added.

"We saw this as an opportunity to bring our global expertise in data centre solutions, energy management, and cybersecurity to Toowoomba and cement Australia's ability to host data centres to serve the Pacific zone," Schneider Electric Pacific Zone President Gareth O'Reilly said.

"The team set out to build in record time an energy efficient, reliable, secure, and scalable datacentre. That has been achieved by using our EcoStruxure platform and the Pulse Data Centre is a project everyone can be proud of."

The Queensland government also offered up a AU$10 million, interest-free loan via the catalytic infrastructure funding program, which facilitated the datacentre's early development.

The new datacentre is the base of the Toowoomba Technology Park (TTP), a broader strategy to develop an innovation precinct capitalising on the "high-speed, low latency, carrier-neutral fibre-optic communications links" to the datacentre and within the park.

"We are currently in discussions with multiple strategic partners who are keen to work with us to progress the Innovation Precinct project and we are confident that we will turn the first sod by the end of the year," Gardner added.

The TTP is a 29 hectare site surrounding the Pulse DC facility. Other initial facilities of the TTP will include a cafe, recreational facilities, outdoor collaboration spaces, disaster recovery facilities, and office space.

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