Facebook has announced a new data centre to be built in Singapore.

The facility, estimated to cost $1 billion USD, will be the company’s first in Asia.

The new data centre will be located in western Singapore and is expected to open in 2022.

It will comprise 170,000 square meters, over 11 stories, and will be powered by renewable energy, with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.19.

Thomas Furlong, vice president of infrastructure data centres for Facebook, said that the site will begin operations at 30MW by 2022, and will continue to expand capacity in phases until it becomes fully operational, at 150 MW.

The facility will also be the first to feature the StatePoint Liquid Cooling (SPLC) system, launched in June.

SPLC is an evaporative cooling system designed to work efficiently in hot and humid environments.

The SPLC system not only has an excellent PUE, but it also reduces the amount of groundwater required by a cooling system by up to 20% in humid environments.

To date, Facebook has relied on colocation space throughout the region, providing connectivity through leased data space or points-of-presence (PoPs.)

The new facility will host Facebook data including videos, photos, and posts for users throughout the region.

Typically, data centres support users physically nearest to the facility; and while at this time the company has no plans to build additional data centres in Asia, Furlong said that Facebook is always assessing possible needs and future infrastructure requirements.

The company expects the long-term project to provide thousands of construction jobs, as well as hundreds of full-time employees once the facility is up and running.

Facebook said that it chose Singapore as its first Asian data centre because of a robust infrastructure, skilled workforce, and government support.

Singapore has been promoting itself as a free data transfer area, ideal for hosting international data centres.

This is in contrast to other countries in the region, notably China, whose policies on the local storage of international data and internet content restrictions have caused difficulties for tech giants such as Facebook, Apple and Google.

Google is one of the companies that has been won over by the country’s data policies, announcing last month that it would begin construction on its third data centre in Singapore.