Premier: Sarawak looking at possibility of supplying power to four Tier 4 AI data centers

Abang Johari (seated centre) photographed during a press conference while others look on after officiating at the Digital Transformation Via Accelerated Applications event held at Pullman Hotel, Kuching on Sept 19, 2023. Photo credit: Ukas

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By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, Sept 19: Sarawak is looking at the possibility of supplying power to four Tier 4 artificial intelligence (AI) data centres in the region, says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He was referring to the proposed data centres which will be set up by Global Resources Management (GRM) Sdn Bhd and GRM Digital Solutions Sdn Bhd; one in Sarawak, one in Singapore and two in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Yes, you need Tier 4 data centres, but you need power (to operate them). If you don’t have power, you also cannot have data centres. For that, we want to enhance our energy production,” he said when speaking at the Digital Transformation Via Accelerated Applications event held at Pullman Hotel here today.

He added that Sarawak has the potential to produce more than 20,000MW of hydropower energy without having to submerge large portions of landmass.

This, he said, could be done through cascading dams which have been implemented in Europe; Tasmania, Australia and Nordic countries, adding that Sweden produces 45,000MW from cascading dams, which it exports to Europe.

“Sarawak has a lot of rivers and the people do not use rivers anymore because of the good road accessibility thus, maybe there is another way for us to establish our cascading dams in our rivers to produce oxygen.

“At the same time, the fish will be there.

“(Thirdly), if there is a lot of disturbance in the river, there will be less crocodiles. Maybe this is one of the ways to control the breeding of crocodiles,” he added.

Earlier, GRM Sdn Bhd and GRM Digital Solutions Sdn Bhd executive director Sylvester Wong who hails from Sibu, said the company plans to build four data centres for high computing AI servers with AI ready high-capacity workload.

The company also plans to install two subsea fiber optic cables to link Malaysia to Singapore to Indonesia, apart from working on renewable energy, LNG power plant, solar farm and hydro power.

“The Subsea Fiber Optic cable (SEA-H2X) will be completed by end of 2024, which also means we will be connected to two major global Internet hubs in the world, Singapore and Hong Kong,” he said.

The strategic partners for the project include Tencent Cloud, Beidou Satellite, China Mobile, Fiberhome, HIKVISION, and ChinaSoft.

Also present were Sarawak’s Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Michael Tiang Ming Tee; Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (Sains) chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan; Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (Centexs) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohammad Morshidi Abdul Ghani; and Subur Tiasa Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King. — DayakDaily