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Ground has broken on a 2.45ha site bought by search giant Google in Jurong West, Singapore, for a data center that will service is Asian operations.

It is the first time Google has built in Southeast Asia, and Google plans to make its entry into the region one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly data centers in Asia.

It has also bought land for two other data centers in Asia, in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which will see a massive investment of US$300m.

It said this newest US$120m data center, which will be complete in early 2013, will use the same design principals seen in other Google data centers around the world.

Google invests heavily in renewable energy for its data centers around the world, and where it can innovates to make its data centers as efficient as possible. Keeping in with its zero carbon emission promise, it also offsets emissions by investing in companies that can also benefit from new efficiency measures.

It runs its data centers at temperatures at ASHRAE’s highest recommended standards to save energy and uses power supplies that exceed the Climate Saver Computing Initiatives Gold efficiency standards.

It also uses free cooling wherever possible, which in Singapore’s hot and humid climate could require some further innovation, with averages between 25 and 31 degrees Celsius.

On its website, Google said it chose Singapore for its reliable infrastructure, skilled workforce and “commitment to transparent and business friendly regulations”.

“Singapore also has a vibrant internet economy and is located in the center of one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world, Southeast Asia, where millions of users are coming online every day for information and entertainment, new business opportunities and better ways to connect with friends and family, near and far.”

Jurong itself has attracted a bit of attention from the data center industry of late. Last year Digital Realty Trust purchased a 370,500 sq ft data center facility in Singapore’s International Business Park, Jurong East, with 30MW of 2N capacity.

Google has already started calling for staff to work at its Singapore data center, including a facilities manager, technician for its facilities and data center, Linux System Administrator and manager/director of server operations.

It said it also plans to invest US$50,000 for a grant to help young Singaporeans gain skills to help them enter the internet economy.