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Google announces data centre for Singapore

Google's presence in Asia has been boosted following the announcement that construction has started on a US$120 million data centre in Singapore.

The site is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia – measuring 2.45 hectares and will aim to be both energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Singapore is the third location in Asia in which Google plans to situate itself – the search giant has also announced sites in Hong Kong and Taiwan, worth US$300 million and US$100 million respectively.

According to Google's head of Southeast Asia, Julian Persaud, the region is one of the fastest growing in the world in terms of internet usage.

"So I think we would allocate resources in line with where we see the biggest opportunity, which I think would be APAC (Asia-Pacific) and Southeast Asia," he said at the groundbreaking ceremony on December 15.

"We're building to provide our users here with the fastest and most reliable possible access to our services so they can do just that."

Google already has six facilities in the US and two in Europe and the expansion to Asia is set to give regional browsers faster and more reliable services, according to company officials.

The move could also lead to further enhancement of applications such as Gmail without being constrained by capacity issues.

"Right now a lot of services to Asia are being delivered from, for example, the US because the capacity in Asia is just not enough," Google's head of Asia-Pacific hardware operations Simon Chang said.

The Singapore data centre is due to be completed in 2013.

Approximately 50 per cent of South-east Asia's current total data capacity is in Singapore, according to the Economic Development Board.

"Our long term vision is to build Singapore to be a creation economy powered by digital intelligence," executive director for infocomms and media at the EDB Jayson Goh said.