ONE of Toowoomba's leading construction and engineering companies is planning a multi-million-dollar move into electronic data storage.
Toowoomba-based FKG Group has submitted an application to Toowoomba Regional Council to design and construct Australia's first regionally-based data centre.
FKG Group manager property development Dallas Hunter said it would be an exciting project and a significant economic development driver for the Toowoomba region.
"Toowoomba is a perfect location to build a high-tech, secure data facility due its geographic advantages being 100km from Brisbane, with low yearly temperature variation and extremely good fibre connections being arranged," Mr Hunter said.
If approved, the $100m Toowoomba Data Centre would be built on a 4ha industrial site within the FKG Witmack Industry Park on the western side of Toowoomba and adjacent to the established Vinidex and Iplex Pipeline facilities.
The $20m first stage of the 12,000sq m centre would comprise 300 data racks with construction expected to start within 12 months of approval.
The Toowoomba Data Centre would have sophisticated cooling, security and energy connections and backup systems to Tier III classification.
Mr Hunter said that as companies continued to outsource data storage amid growing demands for cloud computing, disaster recovery backup and the need for physical separation of stored data, FKG Group was confident of the project's long-term viability.
"Many firms who maintain in-house servers incur considerable capital expenditure and utility costs so we expect to attract interest from some of Australia's leading financial institutions, universities and large corporate entities, especially now that we also have improved national connectivity with Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport," he said.
"Unlike capital cities where data storage centres are housed in multi-storey buildings, our centre will be constructed as an industrial facility as is common in the United States.
"The development will be scalable and will not be limited by area, energy and cooling constraints or burdened with large upfront capital costs for underutilised floor space in the initial construction."
Mr Hunter said Toowoomba was an optimal location for a data centre in terms of geographic advantage and connectivity and would offer very competitive rates.
He said FKG would potentially welcome a joint-venture IT partner who could add value to the project.
With offices in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Mackay, Newcastle and Roma, FKG provides integrated construction, engineering and support services for the property, resources, infrastructure and government sectors across Australia.
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