Nigeria-based Rack Centre is the leading carrier-neutral data centre operator in West Africa, serving more than 80 international, regional and local clients. With more than 40 carriers, it is the most connected facility in the region, and links every country on Africa’s Atlantic coast. Its carrier neutrality and focus on quality means customers are able to obtain better value, lower latency, greater security and higher resilience. Actis took a controlling stake in the business in March 2020.
Data centres are important for social inclusion, ensuring that as many people as possible are able to access the internet quickly, cheaply and reliably. However, there is a risk that they can use – and waste – too much energy in the process. So it is vital they are as energy-efficient as possible, and use reliable, low-carbon sources of power to ensure uninterrupted operations.
At the outset of our investment, an assessment was therefore undertaken to identify the best technically and commercially feasible low-carbon power solution for the company’s operations. As a result, Rack Centre is undertaking a range of measures and green design principles, including switching from diesel to gas power generation, implementing water efficient cooling systems, implementing a low energy air circulation system and sourcing local materials and services wherever possible. Switching its power source from diesel to gas power will not only save more than $10 million a year in operating costs, it will also reduce carbon intensity and improve air quality. As a result of these moves, Rack Centre is forecast to be 35% more energy-efficient than other regional data centres, and 16% more energy efficient than the global average. Water consumption will be reduced by 41%, and there will be a 45% reduction in the embodied carbon of materials used in all construction activities.
Rack Centre is Actis’ thirteenth green certified building globally and, as the first green certified data centre in Africa, comprises Actis’ fifth “first” in Africa.
Thanks to these changes, in June 2022 Rack Centre became the first International Finance Corporation (IFC) EDGE certified data centre in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This green building certification recognises the significant savings the centre will achieve in energy and water use. Rack Centre is Actis’ thirteenth green certified building globally and, as the first green certified data centre in Africa, comprises Actis’ fifth “first” in Africa, following the development of the first green certified commercial buildings in Accra, Douala, Lagos and Nairobi. In 2019, Actis’ Garden City built Africa’s Largest Solar Carport System on its roof and Jabi Lake Mall is the first shopping mall in Nigeria to house a rooftop solar system.