Thai Energy Billionaire Steps Up Data Center Push to Tap AI Boom

Gulf Energy will spend $271 million to expand its existing data center facility in suburban Bangkok.

Bloomberg News

July 1, 2024

1 Min Read
Bangkok at night

(Bloomberg) -- Energy billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi, Thailand’s second-richest person, is accelerating his push into data centers to tap a booming market fueled by rising demand for cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

His energy company, Gulf Energy Development, and its partners plan to spend an additional 10 billion baht ($271 million) to double their outlay on a data center facility in suburban Bangkok.

The expansion will increase the center’s energy consumption to 50 megawatts from a previously announced 25 megawatts, with completion expected in March, Gulf Energy Chief Financial Officer Yupapin Wangviwat told reporters last week.

Sarath is expanding his empire into virtual banking, cryptocurrency trading, and other technology businesses as electricity generation in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy has excess capacity. Demand for data centers is rising in the region, with global tech companies spending billions of dollars to spur cloud computing and AI services.

“We set the expansion of the second phase now because we expect a surge in demand for our data center services,” Sarath said at the press conference in Bangkok. “A jump in AI adoption and cloud computing will substantially increase demand for our data center bandwidth.”

Related:Investors Plow Into Asia Data Centers on AI, Cloud Boom

Technology and other non-power businesses are expected to contribute a “significant proportion” of Gulf Energy’s revenue in the near future, said Sarath, declining to elaborate. Earlier this week, Gulf Energy and Alphabet, Inc. held a joint briefing about their cloud computing partnership in Thailand.

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